This blog post is one of 6 posts summarizing outcomes of the Beta City Workshop series Street Plans led as part of the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project.
Long Beach, CA is one of six “Beta City” partners that Street Plans is working with as part of the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project. In working with Beta City partners, Street Plans will deliver a series of workshops designed to expand each City’s familiarity and comfort with planning and executing collaborative demonstration, pilot, and interim design projects.
In Long Beach, Street Plans worked with Long Beach Development Services (LBDS), in partnership with City Fabrick, a non-profit design studio dedicated to transforming communities through public interest design, planning, policy development and civic engagement.
The City’s priority project focused on creating a 1-day demonstration to advance implementation of “streetlets” recommended in the City’s Downtown and TOD Pedestrian Master Plan. As defined in the Plan, a Streetlet is a new type of neighborhood public open space that re-imagines underutilized sections of the street to create hubs of community activity. LBDS staff identified the following goals for the demonstration:
- Broadening public engagement in the Streetlet planning process, by gathering input from attendees about what a more permanent/interim-design Streetlet should look like.
- Testing program and design elements to see what resonated with attendees, informing plans for an interim-design project.
- Providing a pop-up public space amenity to community members, catalyzing excitement among residents and business owners in the project area.
To kick off the process, Street Plans and LBDS hosted a planning meeting to convene partner agencies and organizations, and map out an action plan for creating the one-day Streetlet demonstration. The planning meeting was attended by approximately 12 staff representing a variety of roles across City of Long Beach agencies, including Public Works and Public Health.
Based on outcomes of the planning meeting, Street Plans, LBDS, and CityFabrick worked together to design and implement a 1-day Streetlet demonstration on Saturday, November 12th from 9:00am - 3:00pm.The Streetlet demonstration included street murals, plants and greenery, street furniture, public art, artistic crosswalks, opportunities for physical activity, games, bike rental, and music. Importantly, the demonstration included a number of interactive activities to gather feedback from attendees. Public engagement activities included conversations with the community, comment cards, educational signage, and idea boards. Building from the positive feedback received during the demonstration, LBDS is now moving forward with design and implementation of an interim-design Streetlet where the demonstration took place.