|William Whyte said, “A great city is like a party. People stay longer than is really necessary because they are enjoying themselves.” While Downtown Long Beach has been, and will continue to be, an enjoyable place to be, we at the DLBA seek to perpetuate this through placemaking. |
Although the term, “placemaking” has only been widely used for a decade or so, the idea has been a long time in the making. The act of placemaking seeks to draw on the social and cultural history of the community in order to create unique and memorable public spaces dedicated to the people who use them. Working with our Public Realm Committee and our stakeholders the DLBA actively engages in placemaking projects both large and small, from flower pots to pop-up social spaces. See below for examples of how the DLBA is creating places in our district and continuing to make DTLB a more memorable place to be.
When people think about great cities, it’s often the intangible qualities—vitality, sense of place, and positive experiences—that they remember most. One way to create vitality is to activate underutilized areas by turning them into attractive, comfortable and social public spaces. Low-cost and temporary additions to the built environment can be effective in remaking a public space quickly and cheaply while calling attention to the need for better placemaking on a larger scale.
The Loop at Pine + Ocean
The Loop at Pine + Ocean brings an iconic art installation to a space that has been off limits to the public for 25 years. However the Loop is more than just an art installation. It is an event space designed to bring people together, foster creativity, and strengthen the Downtown community. The structure itself is modular and movable. This means that after its term at Pine + Ocean it can activate other neighborhoods in Downtown.
The Loop was developed by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) in partnership with the City of Long Beach and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, and designed by the team of STEREO.BOT, Gensler and Valley Crest.
Visit The Loop's website here.
Pow! Wow! Long Beach
Pow! Wow! returned to Downtown Long Beach in July 2016 for the second edition of a global artist collective that seeks to alter the public landscape by providing the world’s leading street artists the largest canvases possible—the walls of buildings—while bringing together creative spirits in a way that is otherwise not possible. It has additionally brought forward musicians, photographers, and videographers to bring their own artistic flair to the event as it has expanded over the years. For a list of artists, mural locations and additional information visit www.powwowlongbeach.com.
In an urban environment, streets are not just about moving cars but also about connecting people with each other and with their surroundings. Our Downtown streets and sidewalks must be attractive, functional and safe. Through the DLBA's Streetscape Beautification projects we are improving the function and aesthetics of our downtown streets.
Pine Avenue Refresh
The Pine Avenue Improvement Project will significantly improve the pedestrian experience on Pine Avenue and add to the vibrancy of the Downtown. It will include numerous pedestrian enhancements, from new street trees and plantings, to creative lighting and hardscape improvements. This project will bring a new vitality to Downtown Long Beach through improved connectivity and a better pedestrian experience. The DLBA contributed to the project financially and has been working closely with the City of Long Beach to make sure that our stakeholders are informed about these exciting changes. Click here for more information.
Pine Avenue Cameras
The DLBA, along with the former Redevelopment Agency, installed 23 cameras on Pine Avenue south of 6th Street several years ago to improve safety in the city center. The positive results from this investment led the DLBA to research expanding security cameras in the Downtown. In 2013 the DLBA announced the addition of more than 80 security cameras in Downtown, as part of a public safety partnership with the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. The cameras are compatible with the Long Beach Police Department’s Long Beach Common Operating Picture System (LB COPS). LB COPS allows LBPD to tap into a network of public and private cameras throughout the city to aide in capturing and convicting criminals.
Mutt Mitt Dispensers
In the last several years there has been an influx of residents, and their pets, moving to Downtown. To better serve the needs of these stakeholders and their four-legged friends, the DLBA provides dog waste bag dispensers, also referred to as Mutt Mitt dispensers, in Downtown. Mutt Mitt dispensers are strategically located to help reduce animal waste on sidewalks, enhance aesthetics, and create a more positive pedestrian experience for the entire community. More information can be found here.
The Downtown Long Beach Associates is in the process of selecting an artist to create artistic crosswalk designs at 6 mid-block crossings along Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach. The artist is to create one design theme with 6 design variations to be installed at 6 mid-block crossings between 1st St and 7th St. Pine Avenue is currently in the final stages of a yearlong construction project that will see new trees and landscaping, lighting, benches, sidewalk improvements, and street resurfacing. The art crosswalk project aims to enhance the Pine Avenue project by incorporating beautiful art pieces within the standard crosswalk markings to make the crossings safer while adding a sense of delight and discovery to streetscape.
Light Pole Banners
Banners installed along the length of Broadway and Third Street in Downtown Long Beach celebrate and promote the great strides Long Beach has made in becoming the most bicycle-friendly city in the United States. The street bring awareness to the dedicated bike lanes located along Broadway and 3rd Street, encourage cyclists to bike safely and enhance the beautification of the neighborhood. After conceiving the idea, the DLBA worked with various community leaders, members and organizations on the concept and implementation of the bike banners. They were designed by local Long Beach artists Michael Mosselli and Marty Meier, principals of M4creative Design, an East Village firm.
Following the 2011 installation of Southern California’s first-ever protected bike lanes in Downtown Long Beach, the DLBA installed decorative planters along the lanes that added greenery and helped raise awareness of the bike lanes to drivers. After more than a year, the plants in these planters were waning, and many of the planters appeared as though they were filled with dirt alone. The DLBA re-planted these pots with various types of plants including, salvia, rosemary, bacopa and a variety of geraniums and succulents. The DLBA will continue to maintain these planters and monitor which plants thrive.
The DLBA's Placemaking Challenge provides funding to associations, organizations or entities interested in making physical enhancements in Downtown. The goal of these projects is to improve public safety, expand accessibility, and beautify the Downtown area. Please click here for more information about the DLBA's Placemaking Challenge.
The DLBA advocates on behalf of programs and projects that support and facilitate better pedestrian environments, stronger connectivity between key destinations, new mixed use development, and other efforts that support the goals of the Downtown Plan and the DLBA Strategic Plan.
Do you have an idea of how to make DTLB a better place to be? Do you need help working with the city to complete your project? Email Placemaking Manager Sean Warner (email@example.com)
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Graffiti or Potholes?
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