KTGY Outlines ‘Complete City: Los Angeles’ Enhancements for DTLA

April 1, 2019

Freeway Caps and Pedestrian Links Will Further Boost Vitality

The R+D Studio at KTGY Architecture + Planning has outlined Complete City: Los Angeles – a series of pedestrian and mobility concepts aimed at furthering neighborhood connectivity and promoting the ongoing revitalization of DTLA. Among the recommendations are:

  • Freeway Cap: Advancing existing proposals to cover the 101 Freeway to link the Civic Center with Pueblo/Chinatown neighborhood.
  • Grand Avenue and Hill Complete Streets: Further enhance Grand Avenue (DTLA’s “Cultural Corridor”) and Hill Street by restricting vehicles and improving pedestrian mobility.
  • Pedestrian Bridge: Connecting Bunker Hill with Pershing Square via a pedestrian walkway that is also an attractive linear destination on its own.

“Many policy initiatives already address DTLA’s evolving socioeconomic ecosystem. However, data indicates an even greater capacity and need for innovation,” said KTGY Director, Design, Marissa Kasdan. “For instance, declines in Los Angeles Metro ridership reveal missed opportunities to shift commuters from private vehicles to bicycles and public transit. Proposals such as capping the 101 Freeway have existed for decades. Now is the time to re-think and implement them with bold programming and designs. The results could potentially boost health, connectivity and safety, along with economic vitality. While the Complete City LA concept highlights a few of the many possible solutions for strengthening connectivity in DTLA, we hope this proposal helps further the conversation that encourages additional consideration for alternative transportation and walkability within this rapidly evolving community.”

Even with considerable new and planned development, the city struggles to provide meaningful connections between prominent points of interest. KTGY’s R+D Studio employs “Complete City” principles to key areas of DTLA that hold greater capacity for revitalization and walkability. It strategically strengthens connections with enhancements to the existing infrastructure, and connects key nodal points with pedestrian-friendly, experiential outdoor spaces.

101 Freeway Cap and Programming
A freeway cap over the 101 freeway between North Los Angeles Street and South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles will connect essential neighborhoods, combat pollution and bring the community together with programmed experiential opportunities.

  • A Farmers Market atop a freeway cap would build conscious community within the urban structure, while promoting environmental health in a highly polluted area.

  • Farm-To-Table Restaurants in this new area will support healthy eating for the DTLA community and may source produce from nearby greenhouses.

  • An Education Center on the freeway cap includes programming to improve the understanding of food sources and nutrition with dynamic, hands-on exhibits on agriculture and health.

  • A series of Greenhouses can grow fresh, organic produce for the nearby restaurants and Farmers Market. The enclosed environment protects plants, soil, and farmers from pollution and enables produce to achieve its full nutritional and flavor potential, organically.

Complete Streets: Grand Avenue
The Complete City Los Angeles concept restricts vehicles on Grand Avenue in favor of increased pedestrian, public transit, and bicycle circulation – creating greater health and safety, and activating the street. The re-imagination of Grand Avenue aims to not only promote safety for all users, but to also combat traffic pollution with urban greenery, and make streets more social for the growing DTLA population.

Complete Streets: Hill Street
According to Smart Growth America, designing solely for decongestion creates streets that are dangerous by design. Between 2005 and 2014, in the United States an average of 13 pedestrians per day were struck and killed by vehicles. Complete Street design can prevent pedestrian fatalities and improve the public experience.

Pedestrian Bridge
A pedestrian bridge from California Plaza – on Bunker Hill, adjacent to the Museum of Contemporary Art – descending to Pershing Square, provides an additional pedestrian route while improving access and circulation between two key destinations. At the same time, the unique architectural structure creates a destination experience, encouraging engagement with the space through seating areas, plantings, and lighting features, all with views of DTLA. ­­­­­­­