Since late 2012, Little Tokyo has been developing and implementing a vision for neighborhood sustainability that respects and enhances the neighborhood’s history and culture. The vision is based on community values for resource conservation, mottainai, and consideration of children and future generations, kodomono tameni

In the short term, it is focused on transit-oriented development around the new Little Tokyo/Arts District Regional Connector station. In the long term, the vision identifies the opportunity to create a culturally, economically, and environmentally sustainable vision for the future of the entire Little Tokyo neighborhood.

SLT is a coalition between Little Tokyo Service Center, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and Little Tokyo Community Council—with hundreds of stakeholders, including artists, residents, volunteers, and resource partners. See more about our Partners here


The mission of Sustainable Little Tokyo is to develop a dynamic community-driven future for Little Tokyo through green initiatives, small business development, and cultural/arts programming that perpetuates its historic character for generations to come.


In the Japanese and Japanese-American communities, “Mottainai” is a familiar Japanese phrase, roughly translated as “Don’t be wasteful.” Recently in Japan, it has been adapted for an environmental campaign representing four "R" words: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Respect—which expands on the Western practice of the first three R words. Respect the Earth, yourself, each other, and more.

Sustainability = Cultural + Economic + Environmental

Sustainable Little Tokyo is working to create a future for the neighborhood that:

  • Respects and promotes our Japanese American history and culture
  • Retains a strong community fabric
  • Sustains a robust economy with strong independent businesses
  • Embraces green technologies

Read the article from L.A. in Motion, "Envisioning Little Tokyo's Future as a Cultural Ecodistrict" and watch this video: