One of LPV’s long term goals is to develop as a hot spot for cultural tourism. It is certainly not a leap to see how this can be. LPV has all the right ingredients: historical buildings/park, fascinating history, intriguing shops, local legendary institutions, event venues, regular festivals/events, a plethora of art and performance spaces, and a community with a long history of activism. The addition of the new Metro stop creates a connection to LAX and downtown LA. The community has partnerships locally, regionally, even around the world. There is an abundance of vibrant culture at LPV.
I looked at Little Tokyo as an example of a very successful cultural district. There are a lot of similarities between the two communities. They each feature pedestrian boulevards, they each are next to major culture and art museums, and they each are home to historical buildings and events. They both feature major cultural events and host plenty of cultural boutiques.
As LPV moves towards creating an environment for cultural tourism, I believe Little Tokyo offers some examples of methods of attracting tourists:
- Welcoming, festive lighting at night
- Cafe seating. Seeing people actively enjoying outdoor spaces creates a vibrant atmosphere.
- A diversity of businesses that bring foot traffic during the day and at night. Restaurants and karaoke bars bring lots of people to Little Tokyo at night.
- A continuity of building design and wayfinding that lets people know when they arrive in Little Tokyo.
- Cultural district designation.
- Instagram ready locations/buildings/structures.
Obviously, one size does not fit all. But case study analysis is definitely important in the process of developing (and inspiring!) a plan for LPV as a cultural district.