Incremental Urbanism

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Recently, we were asked to share our perspective at a community event focused on the state of downtown Long Beach’s urban framework. The following is an excerpt from the presentation:

During these challenging economic times, and with the loss of redevelopment agencies, we’ve been impressed by the resilience of both downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods. Organic small-scale improvements (what we refer to as incremental urbanism) are collectively having a positive impact on our environment and support the city’s desire to be more sustainable and healthy. These improvements can be organized into three categories:

1. Adaptive Reuse

Approaching urban renewal by purchasing adjacent individual lots and clear-cutting buildings for block size development has now become cost-prohibitive, resulting in an increased interest in reuse. Excellent examples of unique building stock that has been re-positioned include 4th + Linden, 420 Fourth Street, and the Arts Building on Third Street.
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Parklet Fever – Catch It!

January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Berlin Parklet – Rendering

The parklets we’ve designed for three local businesses have been getting a lot of attention lately, and we’re ecstatic that it has been overwhelmingly positive! Media outlets from the local Long Beach Press Telegram and Grunion Gazette, to the regional LA Times and even ABC 7 Eyewitness News, have covered what will be the first parklets in Southern California.

Things are progressing quickly; the first parklet – in front of Lola’s Mexican Cuisine – was completed in only three days by JR Van Dijs, and the one and a half stalls that were lost have been replaced nearby through curbside restriping. Next on the agenda will be Berlin Bistro, and then finally Number Nine, with 5-9 permanent jobs anticipated in all! (For all the latest updates and progress photos, follow us on Twitter @studioneleven.)
Lola’s Parklet – Daily Progress (Finished Photos Coming Soon!)

These small structures are private investments by the business owners and do not utilize any taxpayer dollars, but we love the enthusiasm we’ve seen from the community. We’re hoping they will not only create more visibility for the businesses, but also lead to big improvements in sidewalk culture. We’re encouraged that these parklets will be yet another step toward making Long Beach more walkable, and we’re looking forward to watching the street come alive!

For more information, see our previous blog: Revolutionizing the Road – Parklets on 4th Street.

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