This year Y-PLAN is expanding to Southern California and is partnering with the LA County Regional Planning Department and Rowland High School in Rowland Heights, to answer the following question “How can Rowland Heights attract and retain young people?”
One of the most important components of the Y-PLAN process is for students to get out of their classrooms and tour their community and project site. For this Y-PLAN project, this meant conducting the same field trip for two groups of students across four different classes in Rowland Heights, engaging 140 students total in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade.
Rowland Heights students started their field trip in the neighborhood surrounding their high school where they got to see a busy intersection with fresh eyes. They were asked to think about the walkability of the streets, traffic safety, amenities, and housing. While on the walk students expressed that the sidewalks were very narrow and unpleasant to walk on. They rightly observed that someone with a stroller or wheelchair would have a difficult time navigating through these streets, that were designed to cater to vehicles not other vulnerable road users.
Next, students went to Monrovia, CA where they learned about the city’s history and its historical downtown district from the city’s planning team. The students were charmed by the city. They appreciated the wide sidewalks and the layout of the street. They said it made them feel safer walking down these streets designed for pedestrians to enjoy.
Finally, students ended the day in Duarte Bike Trail where they were asked to think about how to transform a storm water channel into usable space for their community.
Read the blogs from LA County Planning for a detailed description of each day of the field trip!