PLACE Website

PLACE Program
3530 Wilshire Blvd, 8th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 351-7825
PLACE Program (Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments)
The PLACE Program is dedicated to fostering policy change that supports the development of healthy, safe and active environments for all Los Angeles County residents.
PLACE Highlights
Image illustrating shade trees in a beautiful setting
Trees for Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County's Chief Sustainability Office, in coordination with PLACE/Public Health and other County departments, has just released a draft of its ROOM TO GROW plan, the region's first-ever Community Forest Management Plan. The people-focused blueprint will guide the planting, care, and protection of trees throughout the region for years to come.

Having a healthy urban forest is an essential part of a healthy greater Los Angeles. If spread equitably, a well-managed canopy cover can deliver improved soils, biodiversity, habitats, shading from heat and greater community well-being.

Most civic infrastructure, like bus fleets or streetlights, is most valuable when new. But the value of trees actually increases over time. As they take root, trees only see their impact grow.

They also form a vital line of defense in our region's battle against growing climate impacts.

The final plan will be released this summer but here's a look at some key recommendations: pilot programs to help residents with the costs of planting and maintaining trees; prioritizing native tree to protect biodiversity; workforce development to build greater nature-based resilience in the County; and creating regional partnerships to create new funding sources for tree management.

Residents can view the plan, explore associated resources and provide comment on the Plan at the website until May 8, 2024.

Step by Step LA County: Pedestrian Plans for Unincorporated Communities

Step by Step LA County provides a policy framework for how the County proposes to get more people walking, make walking safer and support healthy, active lifestyles. Step by Step LA County was adopted in September 2019 and includes Community Pedestrian Plans recommending safety enhancement projects for the unincorporated communities of Lake Los Angeles, Walnut Park, Westmont/West Athens, Whittier-Los Nietos.

Draft community level pedestrian plans for the communities of East Los Angeles, East Rancho Dominguez, Florence-Firestone, and Willowbrook/West Rancho Dominguez-Victoria are now available for review. Click here to access the draft plans, learn about upcoming public workshops and events, and provide feedback on the draft plans.

Using Art to Solve a Public Health Problem
A critical barrier to improved traffic safety is the car-oriented culture we live in. To help create culture change around traffic safety, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture placed an artist in residence with the PLACE Program for a two-year residency. The role of the artist was to help increase empathy for people walking and biking, especially youth and the elderly, and to help create internal culture change at County departments to think more creatively.

Clement Hanami, was selected as the Artist-in-Residence because of his work at the Japanese American National Museum, where he has years of experience communicating effectively about the history of our nation s internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, and his success in helping change hearts and minds about those terrible events.

Clement residency included going out in the community and talking to people, hearing about their experiences with traffic collisions and near misses, and doing art projects with them about traffic safety. His approach has demonstrated how using art as form of engagement can help people feel heard by their government in new ways, help them feel safe, and even help them heal and process traumatic events like car crashes.

The culmination of his residency was installed in bus shelters and billboards along Normandie Avenue in the unincorporated community of Westmont. Clement worked with youth at Woodcrest Library on Normandie Ave in late 2019/early 2020 on messages they wanted to share with drivers. Their campaign was installed on Oct 26th, 2020 and ran until mid-November 2020. Below are images developed by the youth along with their images.

Los Angeles County Launches Slow Streets Program
Slow Down imageTo make it easier for people to safely exercise and commute during the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County has launched the Slow Streets program for unincorporated areas. Slow Streets is a temporary program aimed at alerting drivers to slow down making it easier to walk, bike, or roll while physically distancing. As part of the program, Los Angeles County Public Works will install temporary signs with Slow Down messaging, free of charge, on qualifying streets.

Individual residents, community groups, or other organizations can sponsor a slow street network by visiting and submitting an application. To be eligible for signing, streets must be local residential streets, and part of a network of neighborhood streets that can also be signed.

Slow Street Sponsor responsibilities include, promoting the purpose of the program to fellow residents; notifying LA County Public Works if the signs or equipment posts are missing, broken, or vandalized; and communicating with the County if people are gathering/not social distancing. Slow Streets is part of the County s efforts to promote streets that are safer for physical activity and active transportation. Between 2013 and 2017, traffic fatalities on unincorporated County roadways increased by nearly 28 percent. The Board of Supervisors has adopted a Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries on roadways in unincorporated areas of the County.

For more information on Slow Streets and Vision Zero, please visit or call 833-VZ4-LACO (833-894-5226). For more information on COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, visit the County's COVID-19 Response website (

LA County Board of Supervisors Adopts Vision Zero Action Plan
Between 2013 and 2017, over 3,400 people lost their lives in traffic collisions on roads throughout Los Angeles County. Of these deaths, 383 occurred in unincorporated areas of the County. During this same time, traffic fatalities on unincorporated County roadways increased by nearly 28 percent.

In an effort to enhance traffic safety, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion on August 4, 2020 authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, to adopt Vision Zero Los Angeles County: A Plan for Safer Roadways, which establishes a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities in unincorporated areas of the County by 2035.
The motion directed Los Angeles County Public Works and Public Health to co-lead implementation of the action plan by forming a Vision Zero Steering Committee, launching pilot programs on three or more Collision Concentration Corridors, and providing an annual Vision Zero progress report. Learn more about the County s Vision Zero program here.

Articles & Research
A Novel Resident Outreach Program Improves Street Tree Planting Outcomes in Los Angeles (December 2022)

Urban tree planting is a key climate change resilience strategy for many municipalities, but remains challenged by establishment mortality in semi-arid regions. Street trees offer shade benefits to adjacent structures and pavement, and enable public works departments to implement heat island reduction interventions to exposed communities.

But in Los Angeles, resident approval and written agreement to water for 3 5 years is required to plant street trees in residential public rights of way. Historically, 10% of residents contacted agreed to adopt street trees, and 50% of trees planted survived. Community engagement strategies, shown to improve tree acceptance rates and survival elsewhere, had not been tested here.

California State University, Northridge consulted with PLACE on "A novel resident outreach program improves street tree planting outcomes in Los Angeles," a mixed-methods evaluation of a street tree planting and public education project in 2018 that incorporated a novel youth outreach strategy to engage residents. The evaluation identifies multiple strategies to inform future tree planting projects, increase street tree acceptance and establishment survival, and support community co-benefits.

Preventing Traffic Deaths - The Critical Role of Clinicians
Traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for both adults and children in Los Angeles County. Clinicians have an opportunity to support Vision Zero, a multidisciplinary effort to end traffic fatalities in LA County. In the July 2019 issue of Rx for Prevention, DPH describes concrete actions clinicians can take to advance traffic safety including: engaging patients in conversations about practicing safe transportation behaviors, sharing their first-hand experiences about victims of traffic collisions to promote culture change, advocating for local policy changes, and encouraging their patients to get involved with local advocacy efforts.

How do pedestrians fare in motor vehicle collisions?
DPH used data from the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency trauma database to evaluate outcomes for people hit by a car while walking. Over a two-year period, 4713 people were hit and 235 of them died that s two people per week (see infographic). People hit at speeds greater than 20 mph were more likely to be injured, disabled or die than people hit speeds under 20 mph (see brief).

Direct costs of medical care for bicyclist and pedestrian victims
To place in perspective the economic losses that result from motor vehicle crashes, DPH calculated the minimum direct costs of medical care for pedestrian and bicyclist victims of motor vehicle collisions in Los Angeles County. In 2014, direct costs were $63.4 million (see brief and methods).

Building Awareness about Equity and the Social Determinants of Health
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. These circumstances, such as access to high-quality education, housing, and financial resources, are the most responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between communities. Building broad awareness and understanding of the social determinants of health and the policies that have created health inequities is an important step to move towards racial equity, social justice, and healthier communities.

In order to support this goal, the PLACE program developed two GIS Story Maps: Hidden Health Hazards: How Our Environments Shape Us and Let s Walk! The Story Maps can be embedded and linked from any website, and should be broadly used for education to connect the dots around what determines health and overcoming barriers to walking. In addition, the PLACE program is supporting the Department of Regional Planning s (DRP) Equitable Development Work Program through the Healthy Design Workgroup. DRP reports regularly to the Board with status updates.

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