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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Milan Creek Restoration and Recreational Trail Proposal


Part of addressing the climate crisis means creating healthy resilient cities. That framework includes increasing locality, creating green recreational spaces, and decreasing pollution while restoring/revitalizing natural urban waterways to their natural habitat. Transforming our neighborhood spaces allows cities to function in a healthier way which increases the overall quality of life in those communities. In the City of La Mirada, California, there is a waterway called Milan Creek that flows through the city. This creek, now channelized into a hard bottom flood control channel and gated, has served as a dumping ground for trash, is consistently broken into, vandalized, and ultimately has served as an eyesore to the community. My proposal is to turn this creek into a recreational trail while revitalizing the creek as close to its natural habitat as possible. After conducting a qualitative survey of the 221 houses that have the creek to their backyards, results show residents overwhelmingly support the creation of the recreational trail and revitalization of the creek. With these results, I am proposing to repurpose the riverbed into a walking trail while putting forth three different concepts for the revitalization: 1) a full revitalization, 2) a partial revitalization, and 3) leaving as a concrete flood control channel. This proposal prioritizes green space equity, heals the land, and promotes the exploration of how urban waterways have been socially constructed through colonization to serve as borders while illuminating how a Green New Deal framework can help transform our cities to meet the demands of the climate crisis.

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