Temple Street Slow Jams // Vision Zero L.A. (2017 + 2018)


Temple Street Slow Jams is a creative call to action for safer streets. In 2017 and 2018, Public Matters is designing and leading community-based education and engagement projects on Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown and Echo Park as part of the City of Los Angeles’ Vision Zero Initiative to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.


In the project’s first year, 2017, neighbors, artists, community groups, and project 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 during one week in June.


In 2018, Public Matters is drawing on partnerships old and new to: 1) engage in local conversations and collect data on traffic safety conditions on Temple; 2) increase advocacy around safe streets; and 3) build awareness about forthcoming safety improvements from the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation and Bureau of Engineering.


Face-to-face, street-level, and conversation-driven interactions guide Public Matters’ creation of creative and participatory strategies. Over the two years, residents, local organizations and businesses, older adults, students and families have participated in formal meetings, informal gatherings and events, all in the hope of turning Temple Street into a safer, more welcoming place for people.

Our Role

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Develop the education and engagement plans, prioritizing participation from youth, families, seniors, pedestrians, and public transit users

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Work closely with clients and partners to design and implement 11 activations in 2018 and five Slow Jams in 2017

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Support Fellows as they lead engagement efforts and plan meetings and events

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Collaborate closely with local business owners, social service organizations, and schools to include them in the engagement strategies

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Craft visually-compelling and culturally-appropriate materials and forms of interaction, and facilitate community conversations

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Design pathways for resident to share feedback with 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.

PARTNERS (by year)

Gabba Gallery (2017)

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, 2017)

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 (2017 + 2018)

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 (2017) 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.



2018 Activations are currently underway. Stay tuned!



As part of a project team with expertise in complementary fields – subject matter experts (Los Angeles Walks), public art experts (Gabba Gallery), community experts (Pilipino Workers Center) – Public Matters brought its expertise in creative civic engagement to design and lead the relationship-building, organizing, and advocacy efforts for the five Temple Street Slow Jams events in June 2017.


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