Temple Street Slow Jams // Vision Zero L.A. (2017)


Temple Street Slow Jams was a creative call to action for safer streets: a community-based outreach and education project, and part of the City of Los Angeles’ Vision Zero Initiative to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.


During one week in June, neighbors, artists, community groups, and Temple Street Slow Jams partners – Los Angeles Walks, Public Matters, Gabba Gallery, and the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California – transformed Temple Street from a high-speed roadway into a spectacular stretch of bold, beautiful art, and public performance.


With our decade of experience working in Historic Filipinotown (Hi Fi), Public Matters designed and led the half-year community engagement process in both Hi Fi and Echo Park that preceded the activations in June 2017.  The information gathered through sustained face-to-face, street-level interactions guided Public Matters’ creation of creative and participatory strategies that invited residents, businesses, and visitors into community conversations, multi-modal tours of the corridor (walking, biking, and jeepney), and participatory crosswalk choreography. During that week, the Temple Street Slow Jams activations turned the street into a safer, more welcoming place for people.

Public Matters’ Urban Futures Lab Fellows led presentations, one-on-one conversations, and street-level interactions throughout the project. Together, the entire Temple Street Slow Jams team drew on its expertise to foster local awareness of the project, invite participation, and increase the visibility of Vision Zero along this High-Injury Network corridor. 

Our Role

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Developed the outreach and engagement plan, prioritizing participation from youth, families, seniors, pedestrians, and public transit users

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Worked closely with partners to design and implement the four Slow Jams events and the Mother of All Slow Jams

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Supported Fellows as they led engagement efforts and coordinated activation hubs

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Collaborated closely with local business owners to include them in the engagement strategies

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Crafted visually-compelling and culturally-appropriate materials and interactions, and facilitated community conversations

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Communicated resident feedback to LADOT and the public at-large


“The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has identified a network of streets, the High Injury Network (HIN), where strategic investments will have the biggest impact in reducing deaths and severe injuries. Despite making up only six percent of our city streets, nearly two-thirds of all deaths and severe injuries involving people walking occur on the HIN. This is where we (LADOT) will focus our initial Vision Zero actions.”

– Vision Zero LA website

Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown and Echo Park, between Virgil and Beaudry, was one of these streets.


Gabba Gallery

Open since 2012, Gabba Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles showcasing work by emerging and established artists from around the world. It features art of all mediums with a special focus on street art. It believes art is for everyone and strives to make our gallery a welcoming place for all artists and art lovers. It also loves bringing art out of the gallery and sharing it with the community through the Gabba Alley Project.

Pilipino Workers Center (PWC)

PWC is a 501(c)3 located in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. PWC believes that all people and communities have the right to a healthy, dignified quality of life.


Although Pilipinos are the largest Asian ethnic group in California and Los Angeles, the struggles of Pilipino immigrants are often invisible. As an anchor institution in Historic Filipinotown, PWC is committed to programs that enhance neighborhood residents’ quality of life, improve access to opportunity, and share the stories of our community.

Los Angeles Walks

Los Angeles Walks is a pedestrian advocacy organization that makes walking safe, accessible and fun for all Angelenos.

It is dedicated to promoting walking and pedestrian infrastructure in Los Angeles, educating Angelenos and local policymakers concerning the rights and needs of pedestrians of all abilities, and fostering the development of safe and vibrant environments for all pedestrians.


Temple Street Slow Jams was made possible in part by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation Vision Zero Initiative and Department of Cultural Affairs, with the support of Community Partners.

Local Supporters


As part of a project team with expertise in complementary fields, subject matter experts (Los Angeles Walks), public art experts (Gabba Gallery), deep community roots with local expertise (Pilipino Workers Center), Public Matters brought its expertise in creative civic engagement to design and lead the relationship-building, education, organizing, and advocacy efforts that led up to and through the Temple Street Slow Jams events.


The process included:

  • Urban Futures Lab Fellows and Public Matters Team Members holding outreach meetings with over one dozen stakeholders along the corridor.
  • Collaborating with local groups to lead Vision Zero presentations in Spanish and English; presentations took place with over 1300 people – members of community-based organizations, students at local schools, patrons at the Echo Park library, and elected members of the Neighborhood Council.
  • Coordinating with business owners to establish partnerships; three of the four Slow Jam activation hubs were hosted by a local businesses.
  • Inviting feedback from community members to shape the participatory public performances, including crowd-sourcing residents’ favorite tunes for our Slow Jams Playlist.
  • Supporting additional partnerships as groups gained interest in supporting the Slow Jams and getting involved in Vision Zero.
  • Crafting the vision for the activations and the participatory, performative activities, including creating all props, installing all hubs, and leading the street spectacles.
  • Designing community conversation tables and inviting real-time feedback on street safety conditions along Temple Street.
  • Delivering resident feedback on local conditions, hopes and suggestions to LADOT planners.
  • Working closely with our amazing Temple Street Slow Jams partners to draw on combined expertise to craft a truly successful activation.


June 20, 2017 – 12pm to 4pm

Casa Gloria, 1450 W. Temple Street

Artist Spotlight: Wrdsmth

Photo Album


June 21, 2017 – 2pm to 6pm

The Park’s Finest, 1267 W. Temple Street

Artist Spotlight: Jason Ostro + Dytch66

Photo Album


June 22, 2017 – 10am to 2pm

Monarch Carpet, 3021 W. Temple Street

Artist Spotlight: Max Neutra

Photo Album


June 23, 2017 – 4pm to 7pm

Temple Seafood Market, 2422 W. Temple Street

Artist Spotlight: Sebastien Walker

Photo Album


June 24, 2017 – 10am to 2pm

All Sites Live!

Temple Street from Virgil to Beaudry

Photo Album


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