28 January 2011

You Plan SB: A Shining Example of Urban Planning

Today in my Urban Planning class at UCSB, we heard a lecture from Mr. John Ledbetter regarding the master growth plan for Santa Barbara. For the past fifteen years, Ledbetter has worked for You Plan Santa Barbara, an organization works with the community to develop and implement the SB General Plan.

The Santa Barbara Waterfront and Sterns Wharf

Mission Santa Barbara

Over the past twenty years, You Plan SB has worked with all residents to maintain Santa Barbara's charm, earning the city the moniker "American Riviera" and keeping it a desirable place to live, work, and play. The General Plan has limited commercial and residential sprawl considerably over the past twenty years by encouraging redevelopment of the central business district to achieve dense, mixed commercial and residential use. Dense growth is facilitated by the efficient street layout; despite being old and narrow, Santa Barbara's streets form a grid pattern which greatly eases traffic flow. It also makes an ideal environment for walking and  public transit. 

Downtown Santa Barbara

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are essential to any type of urban planning. You Plan Santa Barbara has a wide variety of data available via maps, including land type, zoning, flood and fire risk areas, utilities, and public transit.

GIS map of level of urban noise in downtown Santa Barbara

Watersheds and drainage: important to understand potential
landslides in mountainous areas and flooding near the coast.
Want to learn more or get involved? You Plan SB has a great website for the public to learn about the project and to find out how to submit their comments, as residents' feedback has been essential for this whole project. Also available are all sorts of maps (like those pictured above) and documents which outline the plan in great detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.