I <3 Downtown Because… a Community Conversation about Great Places and the Future of Downtown Santa Monica

Downtown Community Plan workshop features urbanist John Bela

June 3, 2016

I <3 Downtown Because… a Community Conversation about Great Places and the Future of Downtown Santa Monica

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 7 – 9 p.m.

WHERE: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing Room, 1855 Main Street Santa Monica, CA 90401

The City of Santa Monica will host I <3 Downtown Because… a community conversation about Downtown Santa Monica, what makes it great and what could make it better. Urbanist and public space designer John Bela will lead the discussion on what brings places to life, and map the concepts included in the Downtown Community Plan to improving quality of life, social connectedness, and public space.

This is the first community engagement event for the Downtown Community Plan. Two more will follow this summer—the next one in July—in addition to a series of small group discussions and an online questionnaire to collect community input. Feedback from the three community events, small group discussions and online questionnaire will be incorporated into the final Downtown Community Plan set for release in spring 2017. For those who cannot make one of the in-person opportunities, feedback can be submitted online through the comments section of downtownsmplan.org.

To RSVP for I <3 Downtown Because…, visit the event webpage. To learn more about the Downtown Community Plan, visit downtownsmplan.org. Follow along on social media, using #ThePlanSM.

About the Downtown Community Plan

The Downtown Community Plan is guided by the 2010 Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) vision of a thriving, mixed-use urban environment that provides multiple opportunities for living, working, entertainment, and enrichment. The LUCE envisioned an energetic and contemporary Downtown for residents, employees, and visitors that integrates the Expo Line and preserves the unique character of the district and its commercial and residential life. The LUCE also called for enhancing Downtown through better linkages to some of City's most visible attractions: the Civic Center and the Beachfront. However, the LUCE deferred implementation of the vision and the specific standards to creation of a Specific Plan for Downtown.

Over the past two years, the Downtown Community Plan process has included over a dozen workshops and public hearings, as well as stakeholder interviews and discussions with various boards to develop an action plan to achieve a community vision for the future of the Downtown. For more information, visit downtownsmplan.org

About John Bela, Gehl Architects

John is an urbanist and public space designer. He combines a background in art, science and environmental design to create vibrant, dynamic, and resilient urban human habitats. A pioneer in user-generated urbanism, John has successfully completed many projects that involve radical new formulations of social space. John is a Senior Lecturer at the California College of Arts in San Francisco and a Distinguished Lecturer at UC Berkeley. He holds degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, Biochemistry, and Sculpture. For more information, visit http://gehlarchitects.com/people/john-bela/.


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