In another smart use of underutilized properties in the city of Los Angeles, Spring Street Park in Downtown L.A. opened today, bringing the total number of parks in the 50 Parks Initiative to 16.

The initiative, which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa touts as one of his major accomplishments while in office, launched in August 2012 with the aim of transforming small pieces of land in the least-served neighborhoods of L.A. into green spaces called pocket parks.

Sandwiched between two buildings in the “old bank” district near Fourth and Fifth streets, Spring Street Park sits on .7 acres of land and includes walking paths, an open lawn, seating, children’s play elements, native landscaping and a smart irrigation system, according to a release. All features are said to be safe and environmentally sustainable.

With Lehrer Architects behind the design, the park also involved the collaboration of the Mayor’s Office, Council Districts 14 and 9, Recreation and Parks, Engineering and local stakeholders, including the nonprofit Friends of Spring Street Park. Quimby Act fees, money subdivision developers pay to local agencies for parks, funded the $8 million park, according to City News Service.

Nic Cha Kim

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