Making Space for the Public: A Toolkit for Creating New Public Spaces

Making Space for the Public: A Toolkit for Creating New Public Spaces

Shira Moch
Case Study of Downtown Santa Monica

The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation provided a grant in support of this student led report. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Luskin Center for Innovation. Any errors or ommissions are the responsiblity of the author. 

Public space is a key feature to the health and happiness of cities. Public space is defined by the unquestionable, nondiscriminatory access it provides users. Many cities face shortages of public space for various reasons, but increasingly because of a lack of available or affordable land. Santa Monica, a Southern California coastal city, faces these issues particularily in its developed Downtown. A hot real estate market is making it infeasible for the City to acquire land to create new public spaces. This report offers a collection of tools to help cities identify creative solutions for creating new public spaces either through redevelopment when possible, or modification of existing public spaces to“re-create” the resource.