Watch Frank Gehry Explain What He’s Learning About the LA River

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When Frank Gehry was tapped to lead a team working on a master plan for the Los Angeles River, public response was mixed. And, Gehry didn’t seem to try to win anyone over. At least once he told his critics they needed to grow up.

But now, with the release of LA River Index, a website where Gehry’s findings and ideas on everything from hydrology to flood control to open park space along the river are cataloged, it seems Gehry is at least a little bit interested in getting people excited about what he’s found.

In this short video from River LA, Gehry turns on the charm and talks a little bit about how the LA River Index encapsulates all of the exciting potential benefits the river offers to the city:

“When I started it, I had trepidation … I had the feeling it was more major than i was thinking. The river is a complicated organism … it goes through a lot of cities, and 25 percent of the population of California live within 30 miles of the river. When you know that, you realize what an asset this could become in terms of public use, public venue, open space, recreation space.”

Gehry has found, for example, that placing water capture devices throughout the river’s watershed could possibly add “up to 28.6 billion gallons of water per year to replenish [LA] aquifers.” That’s a lot of water. Gehry drops some of the other river knowledge he’s acquired in the video:

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