Promenade 3.0: Downtown Santa Monica experiments with the world-class outdoor space, asks for public feedback
September 21, 2018
Promenade 3.0: Downtown Santa Monica experiments with the world-class outdoor space, asks for public feedback

The 1200 Block of the Third Street Promenade Features Temporary Changes Including New Street Furniture and Colorful Light Poles; Iconic Dinosaur Fountain Refresh Unveiled

 

SANTA MONICA, September 17, 2018 – As the Third Street Promenade approaches its 30th anniversary next year, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) is conducting an experiment to determine how it can best serve the next generation of residents and visitors amid the changing retail environment. While the Promenade was initially designed to be Santa Monica's living room, its linear orientation and reputation as an outdoor mall have, over time, eroded its original intention. With "The Experiment," DTSM is breathing new life into the northern (1200) block by adding moveable street furniture, elevated grass patches and colorful decorations.

"It's a placemaking project," said DTSM, Inc. Deputy Chief Executive Steven Welliver. "We want people to continue to choose the Promenade as a place not just to shop and dine, but to hang out and enjoy the ocean breezes and abundant sunshine. We hope people will choose to spend time on the Promenade not because of a particular store, but because it's a cool, welcoming place to connect with others."

The Experiment is a key component of the Promenade 3.0 process, a joint effort funded by the City of Santa Monica and DTSM, Inc. to assess the Promenade's infrastructure needs and learn how people use the space to better inform possible changes to how it is designed. Two firms were selected to work on the Promenade 3.0 project: Rios Clementi Hale and Gehl Architects. Together, they will develop an overall plan for the future of the Promenade.

One step in the refresh of the Promenade has already been completed and unveiled: the iconic dinosaur fountains. The water fountains, which are topped with dinosaur topiary sculptures, have been refurbished and are now brighter, with colorful and more plentiful landscaping, new tile work, and LED lighting. DTSM, Inc. worked with Suisman Urban Designs on the project.

Those who visit The Experiment will be able to play a piano, lounge on moveable platforms featuring Astroturf, challenge friends to a game of bean-bag toss, or relax with a book from the Reading Lab, featuring titles supplied by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library. Colorful rugs, light poles, and sun shades will help make the space fun and comfortable.

DTSM, Inc. will gather feedback to inform investment into the Promenade; guests will be asked to provide their feedback using an online survey tool and "Happy or Not" kiosks. Businesses will also be consulted to learn how the changes have impacted sales.

The pilot project incorporates proven practices in urban placemaking that have been used in New York's Times Square and in downtown Denver to help make areas more inviting for people. By adding moveable furniture, public art or other decoration, and programming like live music, spaces that are designed for shopping can be transformed into lively public spaces where people can convene and interact, thereby creating a new community gathering space.

About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501c(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S).