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Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust

Growing Healthier Communities Through Urban Parks & Garden

Vacant Lots and Park Equity in Los Angeles: The Problem Is The Opportunity

TILL ReportVacant Lots and Park Equity in Los Angeles: The Problem is the Opportunity is the final report of the Land Trust’s multi-year project known as Transforming Inner-City Lost Lots (TILL).

The report outlines how low-income communities of color in the City of Los Angeles experience both a lack of high quality parks and an oversupply of vacant lots. However, as the report demonstrates, these dual problems are each other’s solution.

The report shares findings from the four main phases of the TILL project: (1) creating an inventory of all City of LA-owned vacant lots; (2) producing a map of all City-owned vacant lots, (3) engaging communities in four key park-poor areas (East San Fernando Valley, South LA, Boyle Heights-El Sereno, and Wilmington-Harbor Gateway) and conducting vacant lot assessments on the ground, and (4) designing a multi-criteria needs model based on demographic and socioeconomic data in order to prioritize vacant lot development.

Phase 4 was conducted in partnership with the USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute, which created an interactive online map for select vacant lots, available here.

The TILL report concludes with two policy recommendations: (1) the City of Los Angeles should develop one comprehensive, accessible place to get up-to-date information on all City-owned vacant lots, and (2) the City should create a single standardized strategy for marketing these City-owned vacant lots.

Funding for TILL was provided by the California Strategic Growth Council’s Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Grant Program, administered by the California Natural Resources Agency and created under the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84).

Policy Papers

This policy brief analyzes the California Quimby Act as well as Los Angeles' existing Quimby and Finn implementing ordinances and policies. The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust undertook this analysis to better understand the potential for, and limitations of, Quimby to serve as a mechanism to mitigate the severe deficits in parkland found in Los Angeles' most vulnerable communities.

In developing this analysis, the Land Trust drew upon the expertise of recognized policy experts and held discussions with representatives of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning (DCP), Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP), as well as park and open space advocates.

Download a PDF of the policy brief.



Studies Conducted by LANLT and Partners

LA Gardens: Mapping to Support a Municipal Strategy for Community Gardens
Landscape of NeedLandscape of OpportunityLANLT Garden Guide

This report was done in partnership with the LA Neighborhood Land Trust, the University of Southern California GIS Department, and the City of Los Angeles, with administrative support from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. This report serves as a community garden planning guide designed for residents, organizations and public agencies. This tool will help those interested in community gardens get started; groups using it will have to undertake site specific site research and investigation to move a project forward. Funding for this report came from Community Development Block Grant.


Educational PDFs

Walking to the Park: Recommendations for the Formation of an Urban Land Trust to serve the City of Los Angeles

Prepared by The Urban Land Trust Task Force

Obesity and Diabetes: Two Growing Epidemics in California

Allison L. Diamant, Susan H. Babey, Joelle Wolstein and Malia Jones

Parks and Park Funding in Los Angeles: An Equity Mapping Analysis

Allison L. Diamant, Susan H. Babey, Joelle Wolstein and Malia Jones

Overview: The State Of Childhood Obesity In America

Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

The Pervasive Effects of Environments on Childhood Obesity

Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.