The Los Angeles River starts in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains and flows through Los Angeles County from Canoga Park on the western end of the San Fernando Valley, southeast to its mouth in Long Beach. Several tributaries join the once free-flowing and frequently flooding river, forming alluvial floodplains along its banks. It now flows through a concrete channel on a fixed course, which was built after a series of devastating floods in the early 20th century. However, the 51-mile river is changing in the 21st century. The city and county of Los Angeles, the state, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. government have all shown renewed interest in the health and vitality of the river. Over the past five years, the city has purchased property along the river to restore natural wetlands, the Army Corps of Engineers has sought funds for a $1 billion revitalization of 11 miles of the river near downtown Los Angeles, and many nonprofit groups representing cycling and other transit-oriented and environmental and wildlife advocates are working to improve the quality and experience of the river.
The river is at the heart of a healthy, vibrant, and resilient region that Angelenos deserve. ULI will partner with RiverLA (www.riverla.com) for a tour of the river close to downtown. RiverLA is a nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that the 51-mile Los Angeles River integrates design and infrastructure to bring people, water, and nature together. It champions river-oriented policy, sustainable public spaces, and creation of innovative models for community betterment and participation. The goal is to foster job creation, economic development, improved public health, and community revitalization. RiverLA also advocates for alternative transportation, enhanced public amenities, recreational green space, and programs that are meant to raise awareness of the river as a signature public resource.
Whether it is a 51-mile contiguous bike path from the northern hills to Long Beach, restored wetlands with wildlife in the heart of a dense city, or plans from the imagination of architect Frank Gehry, this tour will offer a full discussion and tour of all that is happening at the Los Angeles River.
Things to Know