2014 Grants Challenge

Welcome to Our Neighborhood

With recycled material, we create & affix designs & QR codes to walls, walkways, & windows, informing people about their neighborhoods.


Please describe yourself.

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

With recycled material, we create & affix designs & QR codes to walls, walkways, & windows, informing people about their neighborhoods.

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay


What is your idea/project in more detail?

"Welcome to Our Neighborhood", 'WON", is ten designs, each representing a category: local events, local restaurants, local neighborhood councils, local competitions, local parks, local history, etc. Each design is matched with a unique QR code telling about local happenings, opportunities, and resources, with the information updated weekly. These are broken down even further, e.g., "resources" for education would include (a) knowledge games for individuals and groups, and (b) information about colleges, universities and trade schools in LA County. Notably, three things can happen simultaneously: learning, exercise, social interaction, as nobody anywhere is doing. As we learn about our neighborhoods, we make friends and create jobs.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

1. Meet with collaborators.

...1.1 Decide upon details of recycled material.

......1.1.1 Optimize resistance to weathering.

......1.1.2 If on walkway, ensure that the surface of the design not be slippery.

......1.1.3 Where in LA County to source.

......1.1.4 How many jobs can be created in LA County.

......1.1.5 Beyond walls, walkways, and windows: bus shelters? Interior corridors? Other appropriate locations?

...1.2 Use resources in the College of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona to set up manufacturing process.

...1.3 Choose the ten categories and the design for each.

......1.3.1 Begin process of design and utility patents.

2. Make a public announcement inviting others to collaborate, e.g., local businesses, local organizations, educational institutions, local governments.

...2.1 News conferences, municipal newsletters, local news media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, college and school clubs, etc.

3. Set up a system to create and assign QR codes. Each QR code would be unique, enabling the management team to convey and update a unique message. Yet, a cluster of QR codes, that is, those in the same neighborhood, would have a neighborhood identification marker.

4. Manufacture using recycled material.

5. Install where permitted on walls, walkways, and windows. Parolees graduating from the Reintegration Academy at Cal Poly Pomona will be given jobs, as will others.

6. Publicize to residents of Los Angeles County, local businesses, local organizations, local governments, others.

7. Maintain the decals and QR codes, and update the information provided through the QR codes.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CREATE today? In 2050?


1. We will be creating jobs.

...1.1 Los Angeles City has 6,500 miles of streets, not including freeways, . If (a) all of LA County is double that number and (b) QR codes could be put on each side of a street, a hundred feet apart, we would have 1,372,000 QR codes. Assuming that half of the commercial districts and residential neighborhoods would not want the QR codes, we would have 686,000 QR codes.

......1.1.1 If installation of one QR code took ten minutes, we are looking at 114,000 hours, approximately 57 full-time jobs over the course of a year.

......1.1.2 After installation, there would be maintenance and updating of information. Ten minutes per QR codes per week would necessitate about 6,000,000 hours over a year, creating approximately 3,000 long-term jobs.

2. We will be contributing significantly to the sustainability of neighborhoods by making learning, exercise, and social interaction fun.

...2.1 Learning will vary from local happenings, like the time and address of a farmer's market to classroom priorities, "STEM on the Street".

...2.2 Exercise will be by(a) walking, with motivation coming from clues behind succeeding QR codes leading to an answer, (b) contests where foot or bicycle speed would be essential.

...2.3 Social interaction will be creative, high-profile, drawing further publicity to WON. For example, scan a QR code to read "If you find a person named John in the next ten minutes, you and he get a free ice cream at the Foster's Freeze around the corner". The creativity will be tempered by input from safety personnel.

3. WON is a cross-over project, beginning with "Create" and touching upon the other four categories of the LA 2050 competition: Play, Connect, Live, Learn.

IN 2050

4. Residents of Los Angeles County will be healthier, as WON contributes to awareness about local agriculture and health programs.

5. As they know their neighbors and neighborhoods better, they will collaborate to find solutions to neighborhood issues on a scale much larger than at present.

...5.1 Neighborhoods will be more sustainable, as WON contributes to local economic sustainability.

...5.2 Through the news service INSPIRE BEYOND, people will be exposed to solutions to local issues and motivated to act.

6. The mix of education and fun will lead to a more learned population.

Whom will your project benefit?

1. Every resident, whatever his or her age, every tourist, whatever his or her age, who uses a hand-held device can benefit from the learning, exercise, and social interaction.

2. Local businesses, organizations, government units, and educational institutions benefit as their offerings and events become better known.

3. As for jobs, parolees coming through the Reintegration Academy, founded by Dr. Renford Reese of California Polytechnic University, Pomona,, prepare for jobs in (a) design, (b) manufacture, (c) presentation, (d) installation, and (e) ongoing maintenance and updating of information.

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

1. Dr. Renford Reese, Reintegration Academy, , based at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, confirmed.

...1.1 The Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering. To be engaged through an invitation from Dr. Reese. Not confirmed.

2. Dr. Daniel Guerriere, Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach, and William Kelly, M.Ed., the news service INSPIRE BEYOND, through which news emphasizing innovation and a "can do" spirit will be brought to the attention of residents in Los Angeles County. Confirmed.

...2.1 The service-learning community at Cal State Long Beach, to be engaged through an invitation from Dr. Guerriere. Not confirmed.

3. Mr. Mike Browne of Big Red Shoes, .who will have a key role in the design of WON categories. Confirmed.

4. There will be others, drawn from institutions and organizations in Los Angeles County.

...4.1 Manufacture.

...4.2 Installation.

...4.3 Maintenance and updating information.

......4.3.1 This will include local businesses, local organizations, local governments, and others wishing to convey information through the QR codes. Not confirmed.

How will your project impact the LA2050 CREATE metrics?

Employment in creative industries

Concentration of manufacturing activity in LA

Patents per capita

Jobs per capita

Minority- and women-owned firms

Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)

Recruiting and retention rates at local higher education institutions (Dream Metric)

Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)

Unemployment rates (and opportunities) for the formerly incarcerated (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

1. Employment in creative industries. Direct impact. Designs for QR codes. Indirect impact. Attention to the fine arts.

2. Concentration of manufacturing activity in LA. Direct impact. Using sources in Los Angeles County, the manufacture of designs with QR codes from recycled material.

3. Patents per capita. Some design patents and a utility patent for WON.

4. Jobs per capita. Estimated 57 short-term jobs, as many as 3,000 long-term jobs.

5. Minority- and women-owned firms. Direct impact. 1. Contracting to such firms will be a priority. 2. Advertising for such firms through the QR codes.

6. Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric). Direct impact. 1. Delegations come to Los Angeles County to see how WON works. 2. Invitations to speak across America and around the world about WON.

7. Recruiting and retention rates at local higher education institutions (Dream Metric). Direct impact. Through WON jobs.

8. Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric). Direct impact. Through WON jobs.

9. Unemployment rates (and opportunities) for the formerly incarcerated (Dream Metric) . Direct impact through the Reintegration Academy, .

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

1. We will have a mobile app which will record each "swipe" of a QR code.

...1.1 There will be a feature of the app which will tell us whether a resident or tourist has followed up on information, e.g., virtually watching a highlight from a lecture at USC and hten commenting.

2. Measuring the number of jobs directly tied to WON will come from reports from collaborators.

3. The number of announcements from local businesses, organizations, government units, educational institutions, and others wishing to use the QR codes.

...3.1 The amount of revenue generated from such announcements.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

1. A survey of education innovators has shown that there is far more which we could do with technology for public benefit than is now being done. For example, WON is unique by combining learning, exercise, and social interaction, making the best use of available time, scarce time. This potentially has a large implication.

2. High schoolers on "closed" campuses are isolated from the residents around the campus. Friendship, respect, and trust cannot be built, yet should be built so that youth contribute to the sustainability of their neighborhoods.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

1. Our goal is to set up and operate a demonstration with 10,000 QR codes in areas of Los Angeles County which could benefit from one or more of

(a) more exercise,

(b) more collaboration among neighbors,

(c) more transactions for local businesses,

(d) more civic involvement,

(e) more volunteering with local organizations.

1.1 the installation of 10,000 QR codes will require one full-time job or, preferably, so that the installation skill be developed, 10 part-time jobs.

2. Revenue generated during the demonstration will be used to expand toward the goal of approximately 686,000 QR codes installed and updated throughout Los Angeles County.

...2.1 Reaching the goal will take from three to five years.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

1. We will not have permission from every public and private property owner, whether residential or business, to install QR codes. While we have estimated that LA County could take 1,372,000 QR codes, we have based this application on the installation of half that number, 686,000.

...1.1 WON would succeed as an innovative program if only one percent of the potential were realized. Understandably, the expectations for the present and for 2050 would be tempered.

...1.2 On our side is the modest precedent set by McKinney, Texas, . We will be doing bigger and better what McKinney has done.

2. While there are plastics which endure under a hot sun emitting ultraviolet radiation, we do not know at this point which recyclable material would be used in the manufacture of the QR codes.

...2.1 The solution will come from engineering faculty and students from one or more campus of the California State University in Los Angeles County: Northridge, Los Angeles, Pomona, Long Beach, Dominguez Hills.

What resources does your project need?

Money (financial capital)