September 13, 2016

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Geosyntec Partners with Frank Gehry and Laurie Olin on L.A. River Visioning Plans

Mark Hanna (California) is working with architect Frank Gehry and landscape architect Laurie Olin on the L.A. River Visioning Plan by providing expertise as a water resource engineer.

This team is working directly for the recently rebranded River LA, a non-profit working across public, private, and philanthropic sectors which was founded by the City of Los Angeles in 2009.

The revitalization of the L.A. River is the largest effort to date since complete channelization of the river occurred in the 1930s. Following on the years of tireless work by the Friends of the Los Angeles River, the City of Los Angeles' River Works office, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, and countless others, the River LA team is integrating more than a dozen public benefit metrics to develop a suite of programmatic solutions along all 51 miles of the L.A. River.

River LA started talks with Gehry and his partners, Tensho Takemori and Anand Devarajan, in 2014 and brought on OLIN and Geosyntec shortly thereafter. Mark was sought out to to provide his unique insight, along with necessary data, research, numerical modeling, and analyses to assist the team in developing a "well-founded" vision. His role with the project was based upon data-driven studies integrating the myriad of relevant factors including flood risk management, water supply benefits, water quality improvements, ecosystem services, infrastructure resilience, recreation, public health, affordability, equity, and quality-of-life. The specific scope of services relating to water supply, using the L.A. River as a source of locally sourced water, was performed through surface water and groundwater optimization analyses. This effort identified the reasonable potential that capturing, treating, and injecting stormwater into the region's vast groundwater aquifers can achieve in the development of a local resource portfolio.

Results from these analyses are housed on a website called LA River Index, supported in part by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and generous philanthropic donations from a wide variety of individuals and foundations (which can be found here: The site was launched to provide the public with information about topics like water supply, water quality, flood risk management, public health, programming, park space, transportation, and habitat. The site is called an index as it presents the results from the analyses performed to date, and does not provide any of design or information about proposals or future plans.

Mark described the work he provided as a team effort and he wanted to congratulate the "A Triple Plus" team that has worked on this project from far and wide around the firm. The Geosyntec Team consists of Ken Susilo, Al Preston, Diego Cadena, Scott Mansell, Jai Panthail, Rishab Mahajan, Stacy Luell, Curtis Fang, Kevin Kopp, Aaron Poresky, Julie Larson, Phil Storrs, Daniel Lee, and Leila Talebi.

Frank Gehry is known for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, among other well-known designs. Laurie Olin and the Olin Studio is recognized for landscape design projects integrating environmental, social, and economic aspects on public parks, corporate entities, museums, and private residential gardens.

More Information

For more information regarding the website, please visit: LA River Index
For more information on water resources engineering, contact Mark Hanna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..