JUNE 10: ‘POPS + PARTS’ Symposium

The City of West Hollywood continues to focus attention on the City’s environmental efforts and civic gathering initiatives with information-sharing and educational opportunities, which aim to elevate community awareness about City programs and policies related to West Hollywood’s open space, natural and built environments, and ecology and sustainability efforts.

The City will host a free in-person symposium called POPS + PARTS: Exploring the Potential for New Public-Oriented Spaces in West Hollywood. This community event will explore the value of adding new Privately Owned Public Spaces (“POPS’) to the City of West Hollywood from multiple perspectives and will highlight great examples of high-performing, community-oriented open space and green space that has been integrated as a part of new development.

The POPS + PARTS Symposium will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pacific Design Center, located at 8687 Melrose Avenue. It is free and open to the public. Parking is available for $15 at the Pacific Design Center and limited parking is available across the street at the West Hollywood Park five-story parking structure, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard at a rate of $1 for each 20 minutes with $12 maximum. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP is requested via Eventbrite at https://weho-pops-parts-symposium.eventbrite.com.

Over the last century in America, a particular type of public urban space has emerged that is privately owned and maintained, yet publicly accessible. Also known by the acronym “POPS,” these spaces are focused on public use and enjoyment, not private enterprise. Examples include community gardens, pocket parks, botanical gardens, urban plazas, arcades or paseos, exterior exhibition or event spaces, observation decks, music bandstands, urban staircases, greenhouses or atria, green alleys or laneways, and micro-forests or wildlife sanctuaries.

Creatively situated and designed, high-quality public space can provide a wide array of social, cultural, and economic benefits to individuals, businesses, and the community at large. Psychologically, they can aid in larger goals for civic health and wellness. When designed in concert with nature, and in relatively small footprints, these spaces can have a significant impact in restoring ecosystems threatened by new development.

This POPS + PARTS Symposium will examine, through multiple lenses and perspectives, the value captured and larger societal benefits of integrating privately owned public spaces into commercial contexts and will explore how these spaces might fit into the City of West Hollywood in the future.

Presentations scheduled for the symposium include:

· Economic Value of POPS + PARTS as Incubators & Drivers of Vitality with Candace Damon, Chair of the Board, HR&A Advisors;

· Psychological Value of Public-Oriented Spaces as Places of Personal Wellness with Sofie Kvist, Designer and Urban Strategist and Associate at Gehl;

· Socio-Cultural Value of Public Spaces as Places of Gathering, Meaning, & Inclusion with Esmi Rennick, Social Impact Designer, CityWorks Design;

· Climate Action: Creating Opportunities to Improve the Local Ecosystem with Katherine Pakradouni, Horticulturist & Educator, Seed to Landscape;

· Types: Biophilic Public-Oriented Spaces on the Ground (POPS) & In The Air (PARTS) with Karin Liljegren, Founder & Principal, Omgivning; and

· Success In Designing Public Spaces: Creative Case Studies with Abby Stone, Senior Landscape Project Director, Rios.

The City of West Hollywood is dedicated to sustainability and preserving the environment, including its:

· Participation in the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to mark the City’s commitment to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators through public awareness and expansion of pollinator gardens throughout West Hollywood;

· Designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Green Power Community by meeting 65% of its 100% renewable energy use through voluntary green power that goes above-and-beyond the State of California’s standards. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase Green Power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for renewable energy and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. Learn more about how the West Hollywood community gets its Green Power;

· Green Building Program, the first-in-the-state green building code, that builds upon state requirements and integrates locally specific requirements for new buildings and remodels to strive towards energy efficiency, improve the health of the environment and community, and help the City shape a sustainable future. The Green Building Program was recently updated effective January 1, 2023 to include more aggressive standards for electric vehicle charging stations; and

· Implementation of a new organics collection program in compliance with SB 1383, a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants by reducing organic waste disposal. To assist community members in collection of food scraps, the City of West Hollywood and Athens Services hosted two events to provide free kitchen compost pails for food scrap collection to community members.

The City’s Urban Forest Management Plan presents a 20-year guide to help shape the present and future state of the City’s trees. The plan identifies 68 actions and eight overarching goals that strive to sustain, protect, and enhance West Hollywood’s urban forest, which is comprised of public trees and private property trees. The City’s Heritage Tree program focuses on the identification of specimen trees, promotes tree awareness, advocates for the protection of mature tree benefits, and educates community members about the City’s heritage trees and proper maintenance practices. The City has created an educational webpage about young tree care best practices and community members are encouraged to check out the resource videos and take the tree steward pledge.

Finally, the City will continue to implement its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP), which outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the West Hollywood community. The City is excited to develop a public dashboard that will monitor progress under the CAAP toward achieving carbon neutrality. To learn more about the City’s ongoing sustainability programs and initiatives as well as information and resources, visit WeHo Climate Action & Sustainability.

For more information about the symposium, please contact Ric. Abramson, City Architect at the City of West Hollywood, at (323) 848-6476 or at rabramson@weho.org or Emily Rotman, Assistant Planner at the City of West Hollywood, at (323) 848-6802 or at erotman@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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3 days ago

Should be very interesting and worthwhile. Hoping for an excellent turnout. Thank you Ric Abramson for your awareness and scholarship.

4 days ago

Sounds and reads wonderfully, but Zuccotti Park is the result of a P/P partnership and when the government wanted the Occupy Wall Street Movement shut down, they complied.

3 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Great reminder, also these POPS are likely to become another tool in the kit for developers to justify their bloated existence and public subsidies.

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