Since it first opened in 1989, Third Street Promenade established itself as one of the most successful, iconic and imitated public spaces in the world. But in the past three decades, the retail, entertainment, dining landscape brought on by online-retailers, streaming video, “fast-casual” restaurants and delivery apps has changed dramatically, challenging the traditional tenant mix that sustained the Promenade’s success, while the competition for great urban places has also increased across the region. After three decades, it’s time for an upgrade.
Recognizing these challenges, in early 2018 the City of Santa Monica and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc (DTSM) initiated the “Promenade 3.0” project – an urban design action plan to reinvent, reimagine and redesign the Promenade.
Outreach and assessment for Promenade 3.0 began during the 2018 Holiday season, including a “Public Life” study by Gehl People with concept plans to be developed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios through 2019.
A key element of the Promenade 3.0 is “The Experiment” – a public space laboratory comprised of interactive seating and live entertainment elements first launched in September 2018 and expanded in Summer 2019. Utilizing the tools of “tactical urbanism” these pilot projects are intended to test concepts, hypothesis, and proposals for future investment and guide the design process.
As City Urban Designer, Alan Loomis is the lead urban designer on Santa Monica’s “Promenade 3.0” project team.
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“Can Major Overhaul Revive Third Street Promenade?” Santa Monica Mirror [November 11, 2019]
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