The Downtown Plan sets the City's visioning process into motion by establishing development and design standards aimed at enhancing Downtown Long Beach.
The roots of the Downtown Plan (Plan) were formed in a highly social “visioning process” that began in 2006 with the volunteer efforts of a Visioning Committee and input received through a series of community workshops. The Downtown Steering Committee’s mission was to represent the community at large in advising Staff and the design consultants as the Plan evolved, to provide continuity with the prior visioning process, progress the thinking on focused topics through subcommittees, and to review and comment on draft versions of the document. This initial process resulted in a message that combined words and imagery to convey what the future might look like. This visioning effort provided a necessary foundation for the Plan and, as a reference to that important foundational work, some of these images are included in a set of posters and Visioning presentation. The Plan will be the formal policy document to be used by City Staff on a daily basis to keep true to the community’s vision and provide specific standards and guidelines.
Long Beach is a waterfront metropolis with a feel for the past and anticipation for the future. We are a model of international living and distinguish ourselves through a unique vision: progressive, diverse, cultured. Fueled by a vibrant city center, Long Beach is a place where residents are proud to live, work, and play.
- We promote development of a distinctive downtown skyline, providing a vibrant, compact city core attracting cosmopolitan and creative people.
- Our lively downtown acts as the heart of the city, connecting with the neighborhoods and coastline.
- We encourage an infrastructure to accommodate a future that is less dependent on fossil fuels and more focused on walking, bicycling, and public transportation.
- We invite and support new industries to invest in our future so that we can continue to diversify our economy and promote new job growth while strengthening our existing backbone of convention, tourism, and port business.
- We endorse bold architecture, planning, and construction that utilize green building technology and incorporate sustainable energy. We demand quality in building practices in order to ultimately create historical masterpieces.
- We value our buildings of historic merit and seek to preserve or restore them through adaptive reuse.
- We include the best aspects of an innovative global city: dynamic architecture, light filled public spaces, active recreation, celebration of our unique culture and respect for the natural environment.
We work together to ensure the success of this vision and it is our promise to the city and its residents to invest in the future.
Today’s Economic Forces
In conjunction with the Plan, a market analysis of the greater Downtown Long Beach area was prepared for the Redevelopment Agency to evaluate both current conditions and projections for the future buildout. While the pace of Downtown development, as well as development elsewhere, will continue to be impacted by economic cycles, the study concluded that the addition of new housing and the increase in resident population will continue to attract new jobs. The new residents and Downtown employees will increase support for retail businesses. Overall, there are substantive reasons to be optimistic about Downtown’s future.
A Sustainable Future
As the City embarks on a sustainable path to the future, a Sustainable City Action Plan has been adopted that establishes initiatives and goals that will guide future operational and policy decisions for buildings and neighborhoods, energy, transportation, urban nature, waste reduction and water usage. The Downtown Plan addresses the issues of sustainable design at the most fundamental level of planning and design. These standards reinforce a land use and transportation relationship that supports transit-oriented development nearest the Metro Blue Line stations, walkable streets, a bicycle-friendly environment, and mix of jobs, housing and amenities within a vibrant urban center. Encouraging a balance of transportation modes through good planning, design and development will effectively reduce vehicle miles traveled within Long Beach and, in turn, reduce vehicle emissions that contribute the greatest share of our region’s greenhouse gases.
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