Design: The Greening of Skid Row

Los Angeles builds a controversial park for derelicts

Like most inner-city open space, the new 15,000-sq.-ft. Skid Row Park, just east of downtown Los Angeles, is littered with drunks and derelicts. But no one minds. The place was designed for them. The designers of the park, a Los Angeles firm called POD, Inc. (Process Oriented Design), have won an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for their thoughtful and straightforward approach to a tough urban problem—combining a community park with a haven for bums.

The problem was posed by the local Community Redevelopment Agency as part of its attempt to restore...

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