With the support of a grant awarded by the ULI Foundation, ULI LA’s Building Healthy Places (BHP) Committee has advanced an innovative multi-faceted work program to leverage the power of the Institute’s global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities. Under the leadership of committee Chair Jonathan Watts, AIA, Partner with KFA, the BHP Committee has been engaged in a partnership with the City of Lynwood since 2016 to assist in the development of a health-oriented Connectivity Plan.
In August 2016, ULI hosted a 2-day Charrette to develop a roadmap for enhancing connectivity throughout Lynwood including key nodes such as the city’s Linear Park, the L.A. River, the Metro Green Line, and local hospitals, schools, and other destinations. Increased opportunities for active transportation and healthy recreation were also sought.
That work has culminated in the publication of the Lynwood Connectivity Plan. As outlined in the Plan, a Charrette Panel comprised of ULI members and local stakeholders recommended supplementing recently completed health-focused planning processes and public space projects by creating a “mesh” of connectivity throughout the city, with bike paths, pedestrian infrastructure, and improved access to transit and public spaces. This mesh of connectivity requires prioritizing a system of multi-modal circulation alternatives, acknowledging the significance of specific corridors, alternative modes of transport, and specific destinations, and ensuring that the mesh is deliberately and carefully extended to residents in every neighborhood throughout the entire city.
With this report, Lynwood announces its leadership in a new era of public health—one that works together with the planning and design professions to address environmental and social factors. A sample of desirable outcomes for the future of Lynwood, with the help of this plan and others like it, would be to lower crime, decrease obesity among children and adults, and lower the rate of heart disease and other chronic health risks.
Engagement with the City of Lynwood was led by BHP Committee members, Silvia Suacedo, Founder of the Saucedo Group, and Claudia Carol, AIA, LEED® AP ND, Firmwide Planning & Urban Design Practice Area Leader at Gensler. We are grateful for their leadership and the participation of our Charrette panel:
- Pamela Carmona, St. Francis Medical Center
- Otha Cole, Community Partners
- Jack Feichtner, Cuningham Group
- Mark Flores, City of Lynwood
- Jay Hoeschler, Avid Trails
- Dr. Jan King, LA County Department of Public Health
- Esther Margulies, USC
- Miguel Nunez, Fehr & Peers
- Nick Saponara, Metro
- Melani Smith, USC