LA Open Acres and TILL Project kick-off meeting

Last week, we started our partnership with C-Lab and Community Health Councils in Los Angeles with a research trip that included a Vacant Land Summit.

A recap from the summit and a description of the project’s next steps is below. You can see a short photo essay from the trip here. You also can subscribe for updates directly from LA-based Community Health Councils at

Click here to learn more about our growing program of creating open source tools for turning municipal data into information that helps communities make positive changes in their neighborhoods.

A recap of the kick-off meeting for and the Transforming Inner-City Lost Lots (TILL) Project:

Last Tuesday, July 16 marked a very special occasion as an unexpected crowd of nearly 80 people filled the conference room of the Mercado La Paloma, from all walks of life and interests, to share their visions for vacant land! What was most striking for us was the amount of energy and enthusiasm everyone had for working together to turn those visions into reality. You can see some of the energy here.

After the meeting it was clear that while we each come with our own set of experiences, we all share one belief: vacant land can do more than grow weeds and collect trash.

Meeting Recap

There are many projects in Los Angeles County working to transform vacant land into community-serving spaces like parks and community gardens. Here’s a brief overview of two new efforts discussed at the meeting:
  • An online platform and offline network for community members to learn about vacant land in their community.
  • A resource center for information on how to navigate complex City and County Departments to green vacant land
  • A place for community organizations to catalyze, connect, and coordinate land access advocacy.
  • A LA2050 project by Community Health Councils, 596 Acres, and C-Lab.
Transforming Inner-City Lost Lots (TILL)
  • An extensive survey of strategically selected publicly-owned vacant parcels in the City of Los Angeles
  • A comprehensive city-wide Urban Greening Plan that will highlight 15 sites for potential transformation of city-owned lots in park-poor communities.
  • TILL will collaborate with communities and USC Spatial Science Institute to develop in-depth data and resources that will be made available to the community.
  • A project of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.
Here’s how they work together:

Both and TILL are working to increase our understanding of vacant land and which of these sites could be transformed into places that serve the community.

Next Steps for and TILL:

  • In the coming weeks, look out for new information about vacant land appearing on
  • In September, will co-host an exciting community event in South LA to activate a vacant lot.
  • Recruitment of community volunteers to survey city-owned vacant land.
  • Identifying places for the next summit!!!


Here’s What You Can Do Right Now:

  1. Let us know what you’re working on! We’d love to know how we can support you with
  2. If you’re into social media, vote on the best  #hashtags from last week’s meeting to use in social media here.
  3. Help to survey city-owned lots in your area and share your stories and experiences of successful conversions. Contact Israel Cruz,, (213) 797-6559
  4. Let us know if you’d be interested in co-hosting a meeting like last Tuesday in your neighborhood!


Notes from the Meeting

What do you want to do with vacant land?

word cloud from kick-off meeting for LA Open Acres and TILL Project

What information about vacant land would you need to make your vision a reality?

word cloud from kick-off meeting for LA Open Acres and TILL Project

How do you bridge the digital divide in your work?

word cloud from kick-off meeting for LA Open Acres and TILL Project

Who needs to be involved in the project going forward?

word cloud from kick-off meeting for LA Open Acres and TILL Project

There’s much work to do in the coming months.  This won’t be the last you hear from us, and we hope it’s not the last we hear from you!

For additional information contact Sondrina Bullitt: or (323) 295-9372.



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