Posted on 09/21/2016

LOS ANGELES — Everyone has ideas for how to improve their local community, and Angelenos are being invited to turn vision into action.

Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched a $2 million grant program that gives L.A. residents a unique opportunity to reimagine public spaces in their own neighborhoods. The Great Streets Challenge, now in its second year, empowers Angelenos to transform streets and urban corridors across Los Angeles into vibrant, walkable spaces that reflect the unique character of their communities.

“Neighborhood character is the environment we create on our streets — the places where families and neighbors spend time together, where people take their dogs out for a walk or just do their shopping,” said Mayor Garcetti. “These public spaces should celebrate the people and culture that define them. That’s what the Great Streets Challenge is about.”

Angelenos can now apply for Great Streets Challenge funding to complete an improvement project along any street or corridor in L.A.. The City will award up to $13,000 to each winning applicant for community outreach, project implementation, and six to 12 months of technical assistance. Mayor Garcetti has set aside $2 million in total funding for the program this year, a $1.8 million increase over 2015.

“The Great Streets Challenge funds great grass-roots projects, helping to build the foundation for successful partnerships in communities,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, who chairs the City Council’s Transportation Committee. “When we work together on a shared vision for our streets, we have a tremendous opportunity to create the types of positive changes that have lasting impacts on our neighborhoods.”

Last year’s Great Streets Challenge funded eight community projects with a total of $180,000 in City funds. Ninety-four individuals and organizations participated in the 2015 application process. The eight funded projects represented more than 40 community groups — including Neighborhood Councils, business improvement districts, and community-based organizations.

“The Great Streets Challenge will empower our neighborhoods to shape the future of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember David Ryu. “We want to engage the expertise and institutional knowledge of our residents to transform our streets into public spaces.”

The 2016 Great Streets Challenge builds on a series of successful neighborhood enhancement programs launched in recent months by Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative. In August, Mayor Garcetti announced Great Streets Great Business — a program that offers businesses located along Great Streets corridors access to a $4 million loan fund, and one-on-one guidance to help them meet difficult challenges.

Applications for the Great Streets Challenge are available through Nov. 20 at Winning applicants will be selected based on the strength of their community outreach strategy, and the project’s alignment with the City’s health, mobility, and economic development goals.

About Great Streets
Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Great Streets Initiative in October 2013 to transform streets across the city into more vibrant public spaces. A Great Street is a street that serves as the center of a neighborhood, where people can walk, meet, learn, and play on a daily basis. The Great Streets Initiative’s goals include improving safety and access, increasing economic activity, and encouraging community engagement. For more information, including a full list of the first 15 Great Streets corridors,