Los Angeles County Announces World-Class Designers to Join LA River Master Plan Team

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has assembled a world class team to help with the update of the LA River Master Plan (LARMP), a comprehensive blueprint covering all 51 miles of the river, the nonprofit River LA announced Tuesday. The effort to update the LARMP was launched in 2016 to modernize the existing 1996 plan.

“We are excited to share with you the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has announced the beginning of a two-year process to update the Los Angeles River Master Plan (LARMP),” the nonprofit wrote in an email. “This is the first time since 1996 all 51 miles of the LA River will go through this public process at once.”


The Master Plan Team was selected through a competitive process and will be led by the county’s department of public works with technical support from engineering firm Geosyntec and design and architectural work from celebrated firms OLIN and Gehry Partners , the board announced. River LA will head the development of the community engagement and outreach process.

“The team we’ve assembled is built on great talent, including two world-class leaders in urban design and architecture, and is bringing us one step closer to our goal of an updated Master Plan that is nothing short of a masterpiece,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Sheila Kuehl in a statement.

Kearns & West, Street Level Advisors, 72 & Sunny, and Mosaic will also join the team, according to separate announcement from Geosyntec. The LARMP will be managed out of Geosyntec’s Downtown Los Angeles Office. The firm’s Senior Principal, Mark Hanna, stated their technical role will include tackling solutions specific to flood control, water supply and water quality.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis stated that the announcement “validates the Los Angeles River as a river for everyone.” Solis co-authored the motion that established the directive for the LARMP, according to the release.

“This world-class team, including LA County, Frank Gehry, and other partners, as well as wide community input and participation, will ensure that the LA River serves the mental and physical wellbeing of residents and tourists for generations to come,” Solis said in a statement. “I am excited to see where these financial and visionary investments bring us.”

While respecting the flood control mandate and other water engineering requirements, Gehry said his team will be exploring meaningful options for open space use. Gehry Partners have been studying the river’s limitations and opportunities for the past several years.


“I am proud to share the data we have assembled to inform the County’s updated Master Plan,” architect Frank Gehry said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the County, our many partners in the city of Los Angeles and other County cities, nonprofit partners, and the public through the Master Plan process as we translate ideas into action.”

Landscape architect Laurie Olin noted the firm’s excitement to help reconnect the river to the diverse communities of the county and to one another through the aforementioned public engagement process.

“Few such opportunities exist today anywhere in our country to help so many as the enhancement and transformation of the multi-functional historic Los Angeles River infrastructure into what will become fifty-one miles of community serving park and recreation space,” Olin said in statement. “Frederick Law Olmsted would applaud the County’s ambition.”

River LA also announced that a stakeholder engagement process is already underway, while county officials will be seeking public input online and through events geared to engage the community. A Steering Committee comprised of community leaders, technical experts and a variety of other stakeholders is being formed, with its members to be announced mid-March.

Follow the community engagement process and more through River LA’s website here and Facebook page here

Photo from River LA.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.