Today we release our cumulative report, presenting findings and lessons learned from our three-year research and engagement project in Hollywood. The Hollywood Community Studio (HCS) originated in 2008 as a community-based effort to better connect the City of L.A’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to the residents and businesses that had been–and continue to be–affected by redevelopment projects and policies started in the late 80’s. Since there had been no systematic effort asking stakeholders what they thought about the neighborhood change brought on by redevelopment projects, policies, and complementary development activities over the last two decades, HCS sought to document local opinions and experiences to better guide future investment in the community.
Between 2008 and 2011, we surveyed over 1000 residents and workers, and over 200 small businesses in the Hollywood redevelopment project area. The majority of the Hollywood community felt the neighborhood was improving, and felt especially positive about Hollywood’s walkability, public transportation infrastructure, and diverse shopping options. However, residents are also concerned about the distribution of resources, saying more attention needs to be paid to the East Hollywood neighborhood versus the major Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard Corridors in Central Hollywood. Residents, workers, and small business owners were open to being engaged in the future planning and development of Hollywood, but we found that the community’s ethnic diversity will require these efforts pay attention to the language and cultural needs of its ethnic residential populations, including, among others, Latinos, Armenians, and Thais.
We hope this final HCS report serves not only as a conversation starter that speaks to Hollywood the neighborhood, but also informs other public and private efforts involved in the future development of Hollywood. In the wake of the dissolution of the Community Redevelopment Agency and amidst current conversations about creating a new economic development approach in the City of Los Angeles, it would be wise to embed strong civic engagement approaches that involve the community more deliberately in the development and planning of neighborhoods.
Thanks to the Hollywood residents, small business owners, workers, and service providers who took the time to respond to our surveys, participate in focus groups, serve as case studies, and take part in our other activities. Special thanks to our community partners Thai CDC, Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, and LA Voice. We couldn’t have done it without you! To learn more about our findings and community engagement findings, download the final report here. Jump in!