LA River Downtown Design Dialogue

WSP River Rendering

The City of Los Angeles, led by the Bureau of Engineering and Mayor Garcetti's Office, worked with seven design firms in the spring of 2017 to imagine design treatments for seven different segments of the Los Angeles River in Downtown Los Angeles. The project, deemed the "LA River Downtown Design Dialogue (3D)," celebrates the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the City's Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan  by envisioning ways to implement the goals of the Plan while responding to the current context of public and private investment in the Downtown LA River corridor.

The designers were asked to:

• Visualize LA River Revitalization Master Plan implementation possibilities in the Downtown Los Angeles Corridor that reflect projects that are currently in motion while taking into account future planning.

• Focus on interventions to improve connectivity and access to the river.

• Imagine how to  achieve function while embracing bold, world-class design.


The seven firms involved each worked with a different segment of the river:

Gruen Associates: Barclay to Spring St.

WSP: Spring St. to Cesar Chavez Ave.

CH2M: Cesar Chavez Ave. to 1st St.

Chee Salette: 1st St. to 4th St.

Mia Lehrer + Associates: 4th St. to 7th St.

AECOM: 7th St. to Olympic Blvd.

Tetra Tech: Olympic Blvd. to 26th St.


The resulting images depict a range of exciting possibilities, including open space, active play areas, public art, private and public sector development, and connectivity.

The stunning work was displayed in City Hall during the Los Angeles City Council’s annual LA River Day on June 7, 2017, which was hosted by Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. The City of Los Angeles would like to thank the designers for their graciously donated work as well as the offices of Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Jose Huizar, and Mitch O'Farrell, plus Friends of the LA River and River LA for their support in the LA River 3D project.


View a full compilation of the work here: LA River Downtown Design Dialogue