It’s been little more than an open sewer for the past 70 years but finally the Los Angeles River (yes, LA does have a river) is getting the attention and respect it deserves.

LA River at Buena Vista Park.

LA River at Buena Vista Park. Image by Gavin Johnson / CC BY-SA 2.0

The concreted channel through which the narrow body of water flows was created after flooding caused problems in the 1930s and has appeared in many movies including Terminator 2 and Grease as the backdrop for car chases. Largely forgotten by most Angelenos, there are now plans, spearheaded by architect Frank Gehry (of Downtown LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall fame) and LA mayor Eric Garcetti, to redevelop the 51 miles of river, creating green spaces and more access for locals. Read more: