Written by Gina Yang
SurveyLA, the Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey Project, is a multi-year historic resources survey that attempts to locate all significant properties in Los Angeles reflecting important themes in the city’s growth and development. The survey captures the social, historic, and cultural significance of properties, in addition to architectural characteristics and relies on the public for the behind-the-scenes stories of LA’s "hidden gems." SurveyLA’s Public Participation Program represents the most comprehensive initiative ever undertaken in Los Angeles to engage local communities in historic preservation planning.
With the 2010 National Trust for Historic Preservation Grant awarded to the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Office of Historic Resources (OHR), this integral public outreach component of the survey has been made possible. The fund has allowed consultant teams to come on board and assist with organizing and implementing community training sessions focused on areas that will be surveyed in the future. The MyHistoricLA Guide to Public Participation is utilized to train community members on how to contribute information about their neighborhood. Information from community input is consolidated and directly entered into the cutting edge GIS mobile field database, Field Guide Survey System (FiGSS), which professional field surveyors directly use.
The quality of the public participation program has been recognized with several awards including a 2009 Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for the SurveyLA educational video, award, as well as a Preservation Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy and the National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach from the American Planning Association. Overall, SurveyLA has established a new national model for mobilizing community members and volunteers to guide and inform professional preservation planning. recommendations.
Gina Yang is a Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern at the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Office of Historic Resources. She is assisting in the citywide historic SurveyLA. Both the internship and SurveyLA are made possible through funding from the J. Paul Getty Trust.