Isla Vista Revitalization

Isla Vista Revitalization

The competition brief requested urban design and planning proposals for the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara. Although adjacent to the University of Santa Barbara, the area is not well connected to the campus even though businesses and rental properties there primarily serve a student population. Coherent urban fabric, supportive infrastructure, and planning tools are needed to better serve an increasingly economically and sociologically diverse community. Environmental concerns include protection of a vernal pool in the northwest part of Isla Vista, as well as eroding oceanfront land to the south.

The competition team consisted of an architect, a planner, and landscape/urban designer, with corresponding purviews. The urban design work is discussed and presented here.

The proposed design features an environmentally themed magnet middle school near the vernal wetlands, a strengthened commercial axis that more formally defines campus connection and entrance, USB library branch open to the general public, civic and city service buildings along a central green area, a protected park along the ocean edge, community gardens, and an arts district organized around an amphitheater park.Improved sidewalks connect residents to all parts of town as well as to housing and microparks throughout.


 

 


 

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