After the Department of Regional Planning summarized the Accessory Dwelling Units Ordinance, the community development financial institution (CDFI) Genesis LA introduced non-traditional financing through direct loans and investments to households and businesses that struggle to access traditional lending sources. Since 2002, Genesis LA has deployed over $250 million across nearly 90 projects, creating 1,200 housing units and serving 46,000 clients.

Talleres Públicos was a participatory event facilitated by Big City Forum, an art project which explores design-based creative disciplines within the context of public space. The event featured workshops with Jessica Ceballos y Campbel’s storytelling and poetry and Maria del Carmen LaMadrid’s collaborative design methods. Ceballos and LaMadrid each led participants to actively reimagine neighborhoods with Accessory Dwelling Units.

Part I - Communication + Unity = Poetry

As a way to invite participants to arrive at their true notion of home, Ceballos introduced the theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which begins with the primary needs for food and shelter and progresses into the desire for belonging and community. She then invited participants to share words and phrases that describe their personal ideas of home.

Community

Church
school
diversity
market
library
laundromat
restaurant
housing
parks
green

Home

love
safety
garden
cooking
entertainment
comfort
friends
privacy
fence
dog
birdhouse
pets
art

House

walls
backyard
furniture
kitchen
garage
energy
roof
driveway
restroom
storage
garden

From there, participants combined those words in a classic game of exquisite corpse, which assembled the descriptions into a community poem.

House is home and comfort.
House is walls & roof.
Home is cooking and comfort.
The roof above, makes me feel warm and loved.
The love is the foundation of a home,
Just like the wall of the house.
Gardens grow food,
just as housing builds communities.
Transport to our favorite parks and restaurants is safe and easy.
The comfort of friends going from the kitchen to the roof –
family and friends enjoying an evening under the stars in the backyard,
enjoying your neighbors of multicultural backgrounds.
Dogs used fencing, but cats don’t; this Makes for good safety.
Fences aren’t walls, you can see and connect through them.
You can decorate them with plants and flowers, like passion fruit and jasmine.
Watch the fruits and plants grow,
With the family and community that you know. With growth comes opportunity,
the children grow, in time, through the community
our trees flourish, just fine, like families in unity
all for seasons, our community reflects inclusivity.
our trees flourish, just fine, like families in unity
all for seasons, our community reflects inclusivity.

Part II - Green Space Builds Community

Based on the needs identified in Ceballos’ workshop, LaMadrid led a discussion about what someone new to the community would need to feel at home in a neighborhood. Using the site plan based on the Yes to ADU First Place design competition submission, which featured backyards activated by ADUs, participants drew in social amenities that they would like to see foster community.

Yes to ADU: Talleres Públicos