The City of Los Angeles, committed to sustainable development, is actively taking steps to become a national center for clean tech manufacturing. The city has slated a 2,000 acre area east of downtown Los Angeles as the Cleantech Corridor, an area they envision as the model for the 21st century. To stimulate this growth, the Community Redevelopment Agency requested proposals to develop a Cleantech Manufacturing Center on a 20 acre site at the southern end of the corridor.
Escher GuneWardena’s submittal proposed a unique project with a novel typology: a campus with the mixed uses of sustainable manufacturing and education. Cleantech manufacturing companies and green industries will have direct access to research and development facilities and staff, on-site job and skill training facilities, and on-site clean technology job placement. For the schools, this arrangement will facilitate new pedagogical strategies for science and technology, including collaborations between different academic and non-academic partners, teacher training programs in STEM education, work-based learning, and a multiple pathways approach to education. A two-story educational “ring-building” ties together Linc. LA – the Learning Incorporated Cleantech Center. Independent manufacturing facilities 'plug' into this ring at ground floor. R&D laboratories and other shared facilities occupy the ground floor of the ring and flexible–use educational spaces occupy the upper level floor.
Under the guidance of the Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative, various educational stakeholders were assembled who all have a strong desire in using the future Linked Learning facilities and developing on-site R&D programs: the Los Angeles Unified School District; the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools; the Los Angeles Community College District; the East Los Angeles College; the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at California State University; and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In addition to these educational leaders, there is also strong support from the political community, including the express written support from councilmember Jose Huizar.