Long Beach Shoreline
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Waterfront Redevelopment

Location Long Beach, California, United States

Scope Urban Design, Planning

Size 6 miles of waterfront and 50-acre shoreline park.

VITALS

Continuous pedestrian boardwalk characterizes this popular mixed-use amenity

Dedicated ecological corridor for storm water management graces shoreline

Density and height restrictions preserve view corridors

Pedestrian spine links downtown with the bay

SWA prepared a land use and urban design plan for six miles of waterfront adjacent to downtown Long Beach. Through a series of meetings with local community stakeholders, we were able to determine the different needs of each district in the plan: of critical importance was the need to preserve valuable open space inland, and to maintain an ecological corridor for stormwater management along the shoreline. The resulting plan, endorsed by the California Coastal Commission, proposed improved road circulation, a continuous pedestrian boardwalk, marina and commercial development, and a 50-acre shoreline park. In addition to recommendations related to building density and height restrictions to preserve view corridors, SWA proposed several strategies for improving access to the coast from different points within the city. Specifically, we proposed a major new pedestrian spine linking downtown to the bay with provisions for new high-density office and residential development. Following approval of the plan, SWA was hired to perform more detailed studies of downtown development in support of the new convention center arena, performing arts center, Hyatt Regency hotel, and the Shoreline Village. The important recommendations made by SWA are still evident today in the distinct qualities of Long Beach’s downtown and shoreline neighborhoods.

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