People, Not Cars

Galatea Mendoza considers the lessons of lockdown for Los Angeles's streets.

Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Select entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.

Galatea Mendoza sent images demonstrating how lockdowns in California showcased the unrealized potential of Los Angeles’s streets.

Mendoza wrote:

Los Angeles has the potential to be a city that truly connects people. The more we get out of our cars, the closer we come to moments such as this one: a makeshift basketball key and hoop in the middle of a mixed-use area.

On a street normally buzzing with automobiles, neighbors came together during California’s first lockdown to create a parklet in their front yard. As the weeks went by, the tape came undone, but its sticky residue left a permanent mark on the concrete. These are our streets, and this is what we want here.

Communities that are healthy, just, and resilient are realized by the people who inhabit them. Acts of guerrilla urbanism allow us to create spaces of leisure that are accessible to all.


Galatea Mendoza

is an aspiring urban designer.