Los Angeles Parking Lot Becomes Urban Green Space

February 17, 2012 by

In the refrain from one her most famous songs, Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell sang:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.

Mitchell might want to sing about the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park: the city of Los Angeles unpaved an industrial lowland parking lot and turned into a wetland park urban oasis.

Built on the site of an old MTA bus lot in South Los Angeles, the park took more than $26 million and nearly three years to complete the transformation from a parking lot to urban wetland park. Open to the public as of February 9, the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park will efficiently process storm water runoff while also providing an important community green space.


Funded in part from Proposition O, the new park will reactivate the area’s natural functions with kidney-shaped storm water pools, deep cleaning retention basins, and banks of native plants chosen for their ability to clean water. The nine-acre site will also provide meandering boardwalks and promenades that traverse the wetland to create a place of refuge for an urban Los Angles area seriously lacking in green space.

Photos courtesy of  LADPW.

via The Architect’s Newspaper

  • CaityWallace

    Fabulous! I am going to check it out.

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    That’s great! Thank you for sharing the so worthy information on this blog.

  • Mary

    Always want to see the “before” pix–they provide the framework / context. But it looks like a lovely reclamation.

    I hope the project gets fully funded and built as per the design solution. I worked for a local government and saw plans (my own and others ) change rather dramatically due to various forces. Hope there is not a lot of “give over” to get this completed.

  • Suzi Roo

    I used to live very close to this project, I’m super excited to tell my friends about it!

  • Mollie

    Oh, this made me smile. What a great use of urban space.

  • http://www.eveningsinthedirt.com EveningsInTheDirt

    This made me smile too. Thank goodness people are turning cement-covered areas back to nature–at least sometimes.

  • http://www.premierparking.com phillip

    This is wonderful! What a great thing to see.

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