Isla Vista, California

Project Background:
El Embarcadero is the dining and entertainment district for Santa Barbara’s UC students. It is adjacent to the university and the beach. Its three streets are undergoing a renaissance of contemporary multi-story mixed use buildings that will soon replace existing run down single level structures. During the school year, the streets are a cacophony of cars, bicycles and students. The sidewalks offer little in the way of seating or landscaping. However, the “U” shaped configuration of the streets and sidewalks, and the potential to integrate the sidewalks with the new buildings, offers the opportunity for unique outdoor landscape solutions. The most striking possibility for the district is to highlight the contrast between the parkland that comprises the interior of the “U”, and the contemporary high rise structures that will line the other side of the street.

The County of Santa Barbara

Scope of Work:
Produce a preliminary design that will guide the development of a safe and beautiful streetscape. Separate pedestrian, auto and bike traffic. Slow traffic and emphasize bike and pedestrian paths. Develop a streetscape that displays student creativity and social interaction, and that plays off the Central Park-like character of a district with dense development on one side of the street across from a beautiful park. Create a strong pedestrian link to the beach.

Calsense irrigation control, point irrigation, retention and infiltration of water within the sidewalk plantings. Elimination of turf and other high and very high water use plants.