LA-Más is a non-profit urban design organization that helps lower-income and underserved communities shape their future through policy and architecture.
We envision a world where city growth is equitable and self-directed — where the best local solutions are brought to a city-wide scale.
Our Project Work
Our projects focus on communities in transition that are often underserved or overlooked by traditional service providers. Local city departments want to support and improve these areas, but are left with little budget and capacity to do so. Our unique non-profit fee-for-service model enables us to serve communities that need the most support, and do so in a way that preserves their local identity. These communities don’t need new strategies or ideas labeled “innovative” by outsiders. They need an advocate, a translator, an intermediary to raise up what is already working locally and grow by their own rules. Through our process we elevate what works, and collaborate with city departments and developers to create much needed, local, contextual change. We believe everyone deserves an inclusive process for the growth of their community.
Our Policy Work
In addition to localized project work, we strive to impact change at a larger scale across many zip codes. By working on different projects of different scales with different city departments, we uncover challenges with existing policies and connect the dots between project solutions. We keep a birds’ eye view on how the urban realm is transforming Los Angeles, and use this vantage point to make informed recommendations and push policy forward. By lifting up latent models from individual communities, we offer recommendations that can positively impact hundreds of communities across the city.
Our Location | Elysian Valley, better known as Frogtown
Since early 2014, we are proud to call Frogtown our home. Our office is located at 3051 North Coolidge Avenue along the Los Angeles River in a two story home that was once a halfway home, weed shop, and rumors indicate - James Brown’s recording studio. We have an open second floor that is often made available for salon gatherings and co-working.
Though we work across the region, we see this community as a place we can engage critically in conversations surrounding inclusive change as our city develops. As the restoration of the LA River continues, we believe that existing stakeholders have a voice. Our Futuro de Frogtown effort highlights community values and strategies to ensure community driven change. Our Knowledge Hub initiative created a system of neighborhood leaders who are informed about renter rights, landlord responsibilities, and financial basics. We also donate our time each year to create wayfinding signage for the Frogtown Artwalk. We constantly partner with other community organizations from local job fairs to community murals. If you have any idea for us, please reach out.
Abode Communities | Architecture
Atwater Crossing | Arts & Innovation Complex
Councilman Joe Buscaino
Councilman Mitch Englander
David De La Torre
Linear City Development
Mia & Michael Lehrer
Mia Lehrer + Associates
Northridge Sparkle Campaign
Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Vera R. Campbell Foundation
Veronica Perez & Associates
Victor A. Regnier Fund
Woodbury School of Architecture