Transforming formerly car-dominated public spaces into pedestrian- and bike-friendly parks and plazas is all the rage in urban design, but it’s a difficult task to accomplish outside of City Hall. Los Angeles launched an initiative to make the process far easier for community groups. People St (www.peoplest.org) offers DIY urban design kits to create pedestrian plazas, mini parks, and bike parking. The downloadable kits offer pre-approved design configurations (tested in six pilot projects) for each type of space. The streamlined process provided by People St will allow pedestrian-oriented projects to get off the ground more easily. In an ideal world, this sort of thing wouldn’t be necessary. The city would organize, pay for, and maintain public spaces that enhance the quality of life on its streets. But in places where that reality seems impossible, programs like this could help give community groups some say over what gets built in their neighbourhood. The community need only apply, pay for materials and installation, and agree to maintain the project.