Support healthy, connected ecosystems.
The LA River watershed sits within one of the world’s most diverse Mediterranean biodiversity hotspots and along the Pacific Flyway.Due to urbanization, the region has the largest number of endangered and threatened species and species of special concern in the contiguous 48 states.1USGS Western Ecological Research Center, Bioregions of the Pacific U.S. https://www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/science/bioregions-pacific-us?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects. The river ecosystem has been altered from its historic state, first through agriculture and irrigation and later through channelization. In community meetings and surveys, 52% of participants said the issue most important was protecting vulnerable plants and animals. Planning and development efforts along the river must create habitat areas large enough to support native functioning ecosystems.
Steps that should be taken to achieve the goal
LA River Ecosystems Need
In an urban environment like LA, sustaining healthy ecosystems requires protecting areas with high biodiversity; enhancing, expanding, and adding habitat in strategic locations; and creating linkages between habitat areas.
Atlantic Park De Las Llamas, Santander, Spain
Atlantic Park de Las Llamas is located in the center of Santander, Spain. This park space transformed a former trash dump site into an ecologically rich urban park. The park utilizes a three tier design strategy to create different habitat types throughout the project. These tiered ecosystems remove pollutants from the runoff and provide infiltration opportunities in the heart of the city.
- Success came from the project’s ability to blend the public and urban uses with the necessary ecosystem functions
- Highly designed public space has proven to operate successfully in terms of ecosystem functions
- Providing access from all points of the surrounding neighborhoods and communities maximized its urban potential
- The park successfully utilized geometric forms for waterway/waterfront design of public space