248231 Streets, lots, and land: Assessment and transformation of under-utilized space in South Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:06 AM

David C. Sloane, PhD , Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
LaVonna B. Lewis, PhD , Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Lark Galloway-Gilliam, MPA , Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Bethany Ulrich , REACH US Project, Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
Anthony Crump , Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
Research demonstrates the ability to live a healthy and active lifestyle is influenced by the built environment and the physical activity resources available within a community. Vulnerable communities like South Los Angeles (South LA) are already built out and leave few obvious large parcels for new facilities. This presentation discusses a process of assessment, evaluation and policy-influence through a community-based coalition in South LA, a heavily minority area that experiences the highest obesity rates in Los Angeles County.

In February and March 2011 Community Health Councils, Inc, through Project RENEW, partnered with Department of City Planning to engage residents in evaluating the walkability and bike-ability of their South LA neighborhoods. Residents conducted walk audits near South LA metro stations and visioning sessions regarding transit-oriented design. The assessment was a continuation of as earlier evaluation of physical activity sites conducted in 2001-2 and 2007, conducted with funding from CDC's REACH 2010 and REACH US. That survey revealed gaps in residents' accessibility to quality physical activity facilities.

Using these assessments, the Coalition for an Active South LA, made up of community organizations and community residents, will get their voice heard at the Re-Imagining Empty Space Tour & Summit in March 2011, where they will develop a strategy to address physical activity inequities through opportunities to transform vacant lots and street space. The projected result will be a “Blueprint for Change” containing short and long-term policy options to transform under-utilized space created by the community leaders and city representatives participating in the event.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Conduct a community-led assessment of community resources. 2) Demonstrate innovative policy solutions to changing built environment to be more conducive to healthy spaces and healthy lifestyles 3) Transform assessment data into a policy strategy

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Policy Analyst for the Built Environment and oversee community outreach, engagement and policy development in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.