Urban Design / Downtown Revitalization

Field Session

FS-005 - Los Angeles River: Diverse Voices on the Revitalization of an Urban Waterway

Friday, October 20
7:45 AM - 1:45 PM


The Los Angeles River represents urban revitalization through landscape on a grand scale. Once single-purpose infrastructure, it is now home to parks, commercial spaces, and recreational amenities. Walk the banks of the river while discussing the intricacies of revitalization amid flood protection, multijurisdictional ownership, conflicting existing uses, and displacement.

$110 per person; includes transportation, bottled water, and boxed lunch. Extensive Walking.

Learning Objectives:

Robin Mark

Project Manager
The Trust for Public Land

Robin Mark is the Parks for People Program Manager in The Trust for Public Land’s Los Angeles office. Robin manages a diverse group of park development projects in underserved communities throughout L.A. County from site identification, community outreach and design all the way through implementation. In recent years Robin’s work has focused on the Los Angeles River, implementing park projects as well as larger planning and policy work. Robin holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the California State University in Pomona and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


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Mia Lehrer

Founder and President
Mia Lehrer + Associates

Mia Lehrer, FASLA, founded her firm (MLA) with a vision to improve quality of life through landscape. She has led the design and implementation of ambitious public and private projects including the Hollywood Park Racetrack redevelopment and its new LA NFL Stadium, the LA County Natural History Museum Gardens, Vista Hermosa Park, and many Los Angeles River-related projects. Mia is internationally recognized for progressive landscape design, advocacy, and catalyzing work for a climate-appropriate future. Among recent accomplishments, she served on Obama’s Fine Arts Commission and was honored with ASLA’s LaGasse Medal.


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Michael Affeldt

City of Los Angeles LARiverWorks Office

Michael is a member of the LARiverWorks team in the Mayor’s Office of City Services, where he focuses on project development and coordination. Michael began his career with the City of Los Angeles in 2005 in the Bureau of Engineering (BOE). He worked in construction and design groups in the Wastewater Program before joining BOE’s Los Angeles River Project Office in 2011, which has since become LARiverWorks. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan.


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Marissa Christiansen

Executive Director
Friends of the Los Angeles River

Marissa Christiansen is the Executive Director of Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR). With a masters degree in Urban Planning, she has previously held roles in policy, advocacy and development at XPRIZE and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. A proud California native, her primary inspiration is the beauty of the natural landscape – gripped by color and texture, obsessed with the unexpected and overlooked. Working to help guide the movement centered on the Los Angeles River Revitalization – LA’s most diversely textured and inconspicuously beautiful resource – is her dream come true.


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Amy Lethbridge

Deputy Executive Officer

Amy Lethbridge grew up running wild through the creeks and forests of Northern California. A 1988 encounter with schoolchildren in Southern California who had never seen the ocean opened her eyes to the deficit of nature that many urban children experience and her life’s passion was found. Amy has worked for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) for 27 years and is a Deputy Executive Officer of that regional park agency. She serves as a pro bono Executive Director of Community Nature Connection as she did previously with the Mountains Education Program (MEP). Amy has a B.A. in Liberal Studies, a Masters in Organizational Management and a PhD in Leadership and Change.”


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FS-005 - Los Angeles River: Diverse Voices on the Revitalization of an Urban Waterway

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