Community organizations were invited by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday to apply for $2.5 million in street-improvement and community-outreach funding as part of the Great Streets Challenge.

“The Great Streets initiative empowers Angelenos to envision a brighter future for their neighborhoods — and gives them the tools to bring those ideas to life,” Garcetti said. “These grants will allow community groups to transform streets across Los Angeles into thoroughfares of opportunity, create corridors of open space, and build safer, healthier communities.”

After receiving applicants for the Great Streets Challenge, the city will select up to 10 award recipients to receive access to an urban planning consultant and funding to solicit community input for the projects. After six months of outreach, the city will select up to four projects to receive infrastructure investments, Garcetti’s office said.

“Los Angeles’ center of gravity is creativity and innovation,” Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds said. “The Great Streets Challenge lets residents transform one of our greatest assets — streets — into a canvas to tell their community’s story.”

The L.A. Great Streets Challenge is entering its third round of grants, and grew out of Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative, which began in 2013 with a goal of revitalizing busy streets by making them more business friendly and safe for pedestrians.

“Our streets consist of more than just asphalt and pavement,” Department of City Planning Director Vince Bertoni said. “They are where people come together to experience art, performances, and special events. Creating safe, accessible, and welcoming public spaces for our communities speaks to the importance of this initiative — and our role in transforming L.A.’s streets into vibrant centers for all to enjoy.”

Applications will be accepted through April 1, and nonprofits, business improvement districts, chambers of commerce, faith-based institutions and schools are encouraged to apply, according to Garcetti’s office.

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