2013 Grants Challenge

PickUp PopUp Produce Station

The Pick Up, Pop-Up Produce Station provides reliable access to fresh, affordable and healthful food grown in community gardens to commuters and local residents in the vicinity of transit stations. The project impacts community health by improving food access and proposes a replicable prototype implementable across the county. This prototype is adjacent to the 103rd Street / Watts Towers Blue Line Station. We propose to install a dismountable produce stand in close proximity to the station accessible from 103rd street, capturing pedestrian activity. The produce station will be packable, transportable and will transform into an active and engaging retail environment accommodating daily selling of produce, as well as serving as a backdrop for special events. Mudtown Farms in conjunction WLCAC will provide the fresh produce from their local farm located five blocks from the station. The Watts Labor Community Action Committee will provide operational support for the Pop-Up Produce Station through training and administering a workforce, offering other administrative support, and community outreach. In order to make people aware of the project, a series of events centered on the Pop-Up Produce Station will be staged by Project Food LA to activate the relationship between the transit hub and the food system. Osborn Architects will design and oversee the construction and initial deployment of the produce stand, obtain necessary approvals, and involve the stakeholders in the design process. Project Food LA will administer programming and special events to the Pop-Up Produce Station at its initial installation. Civic Projects, along with Osborn, will coordinate implementation and communication between the stakeholder organizations and agencies, and provide a strategic planning infrastructure so the project can be successfully maintained for the ongoing, achievement of project goals for a duration of five years by the WLAC and Project Food LA – the project goals being to provide reliable access to fresh, affordable and healthful food to commuters and local residents at the 103rd Street / Watts Towers Blue Line Station.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Civic Projects: Publication of The Car in 2035: Mobility Planning for the Near Future

was a collaboration between experts in many fields that resulted in an artful book about the future of cars, streets and public policy in Southern California. Civic Project’s mission is to initiate and develop projects that break down silos between organizations and different types of expertise.

Osborn is a multi-disciplinary architecture firm accommodating public and private clients throughout Southern California. Their work has received 18 AIA awards and been published in numerous publications, including the LA Times, Architectural Record, and New York Times.

The Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) is a non-profit, community-based, human social services organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for South Central Los Angeles residents. In April of 2012, California State Parks annnounced the award to WLCAC of $4.9 Million in Proposition 84 grant funds for a new urban farm park and community center in Watts.

Project Food LA (PFLA) was formed to bring diverse, creative voices to issues of food and justice in Los Angeles. Since its founding, PFLA has staged a series of provocative events in diverse locations in the city from panel discussions to tree plantings. PFLA has been engaged with Mudtown Farms, holding events, tours, and advocating for the realization of this important project.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Osborn Architects: Contact Person:Kate Harvey

Project Food LA: Contact Person : Michael Pinto

Watts Labor Community Action Committee: Contact Person: Tim Watkins

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Success will be measured by multiple, and wide-ranging, factors, including but not limited to the following:

1. Overall health of the community as determined by studies carried out by parties independent of the project, over a period of five years.

2. The number of people served by the stand over the course of days, weeks, months, up to a period of five years.

3. The amount of produce sold by the stand over the course of days, weeks, months, up to a period of five years.

4. The number of people participating in the workforce and job training aspects of the program.

5. The revenue versus the costs of the program.

6. The length of time the workforce and job trainees stay with the produce stand.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

The immediate station area, and the larger neighborhood, is notably underserved by grocery stores, both in terms of quality and number. Access to nutritious food in grocery stores is taken for granted in more affluent neighborhoods. In this station area, residents' options are severely limited to fast food outlets or overpriced and substandard produce and groceries. The station serves a moderately dense residential area, with pedestrian traffic around the station throughout the day, and heavy pedestrian traffic at rush hour. The Pop-Up Produce Station will be a community resource besides offering access to nutritious produce by providing work and job training opportunities for neighborhood residents.

Our proposal links the products of Mudtown Farms, five blocks from the station, to the pedestrians around the 103rd Street / Watts Towers Blue Line Station, providing convenient, affordable and reliable access, by transit users and pedestrians, to nutritious produce grown in the community garden. Our project will supplement the Mudtown Farms Phase III plan, which recently received a Proposition 84 State Parks Grant to enhance and maintain their urban farm. The Pop-Up Produce Station will act as a vendor outpost to the Farms. Produce grown and harvested at the farm will supply the produce stand, providing the local farmers with a reliable pedestrian consumer pool.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

The residents of Watts would be as healthy by all measures as the residents of Santa Monica.