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Big Dreams, Small Streets: Downtown’s Historic Districts

Explore the history of Little Tokyo and the Civic Center, and the interface between these major historic, cultural, and civic districts. Learn about how Japanese Internment during World War II and later shifting community boundaries and identities are reflected in the existing streets and public realm. Looking forward, we’ll discuss efforts to re-imagine the Civic Center, and opportunities to rebuild connections to neighboring districts such as Little Tokyo. We’ll discuss strategies to reinforce Little Tokyo’s unique historic and cultural character through building and pedestrian circulation, and how transit investment can be leveraged to support these efforts.


Tal Harari, City Planning Associate, Los Angeles Department of City Planning


Jennifer Cohen, Director of Government Affairs, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Kristin Fukushima, Managing Director, Little Tokyo Community Council
Scott Oshima, Lead Community Organizer, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Grant Sunoo, Director of Planning, Little Tokyo Service Center
Martin Leitner, Urban Design Leader, Perkins+Will