Recreation, Health, and Wellness

How does the City create a safe community to visit, and a dependable community to age in?

PHOTO: BEN MARKER

2017 CASE STUDY: MICRO-PARK PROGRAM

In late 2016, Council authorized the release of a limited design competition seeking innovative micro-park concept proposals from five design teams. The winning Micro- Parks are temporary and operational for 12- 18 months. The pilot program provides an opportunity for the City to activate underutilized spaces in the City and create recreational space during the remodeling of West Hollywood Park. This pilot program fosters new and innovative opportunities for communal engagement and recreation in the City. To date, three micro-parks have been installed:

  • Kaleidoscope by Utopiad is a series of colorful, rotating mirrored acrylic prisms that reflect the equality of light, the texture of surrounding buildings, and the movements of passersby to create a distinct visual and experiential happening along the sidewalk.
  • WeLoveWeHo by Moore + Friesl re- imagines the wildcard micro- park in the form of a fullscale interactive selfie wall.
  • Tiny Parks is conceived as a flexible amenity that is able to provide short- term rest spots in tight public and semi- public areas of the City of West Hollywood. A collection of boxes create both casual sitting areas and adjacent table surfaces, some of which are outfitted with checker game boards.

To build off the success of the micro-parks pilot project, staff will propose expanding to a full scale parklet program in early 2018.

PHOTO: CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD

2016 CASE STUDY: IMPLEMENT ROBUST AGING IN PLACE STRATEGY

In 2015, The City initiated the development of a five-year strategic plan – “Aging in Place, Aging in Community” – to help the City evolve as a community where aging is embraced, and where people can remain in the housing of their choice for as long as possible. The plan builds on the City’s existing policies and programs, such as arts and cultural events, lifespan-friendly housing, senior services, and other approaches to wellness, while responding to the demographic trend of people living longer and living independently in their homes.

Unlike similar plans in other municipalities, this action-oriented plan was designed side-by-side with the community, rather than with a top-down approach as in typical aging in place policies. The plan addresses needs through innovation, more community connectivity, and incorporating other government and non-profit agency help. A few of these innovative strategies include:

  • Accommodating older adults with sight and hearing challenges by improving the number and effectiveness of audible signals at crosswalks, longer crossing times and innovative uses of technology such as amplification using smart phones;
  • Supporting community members who may not have access to technology or who are not digitally literate by providing computers at Plummer Park and the West Hollywood Library and by developing community‐based in‐home assistance via electronic technology capacities; and
  • Providing digital GIS-based resource guides for clients, caregivers, family members, and social services providers with culturally inclusive information.

In April 2016, City Council approved the strategic plan, and shortly thereafter, the City was designated by AARP as an Age Friendly City, and by the World Health Organization as part of the Age Friendly Global Network. Evaluation and implementation of the plan began in summer 2016 and will continue for five years.