Downtown Long Beach
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Downtown Waterfront Study


On July 31 and August 1,2014 the DLBA sponsored a Urban Land Institute (ULI) Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to study Downtown Long Beach’s waterfront area. Recognizing the need to create stronger pedestrian connectivity within Downtown’s waterfront, as well as between the waterfront and other downtown neighborhoods, the DLBA enlisted the expertise of a ULI TAP to explore and develop recommendations to improve pedestrian activity in the area. The TAP presented their initial findings at a presentation held at the Aquarium of the Pacific on Friday August 1. A written report of the panel's findings is being prepared by ULI and will be available in early October.

Watch the Video

Click here to download a PDF of the slide show.

The DLBA and ULI thank the Aquarium of the Pacific for hosting the "Connecting Downtown to the Waterfront" presentation.


The Downtown waterfront is home to tourist attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific, Performing Arts Center and Rainbow Harbor, as well as world-class events like the Long Beach Grand Prix, Pride Festival, and Marathon. The area also includes office towers, residential high rises, hotels and major shopping destinations. However, these uses and attractions sit within a half square mile area that is difficult or unpleasant for pedestrians to navigate due to wide streets, narrow and missing sidewalks and lack of pedestrian oriented buildings. Identified as a goal in our 2013 Strategic Plan Update, improving the connection between Downtown neighborhoods and the Waterfront and ensuring new development fits with the vision for the larger Downtown region is crucial to realizing the potential of the waterfront area.

A report released last month by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business ranked the top 30 metropolitan areas based on the amount of commercial development in walkable urban places and found the top ranking metros have an average of 38% higher GDP per capita as compared to the low ranking metros. Having recently engaged our stakeholders in the process to adopt the Downtown Plan and Housing Element the DLBA believes now is the time to begin addressing the lack of pedestrian connectivity within the Downtown Long Beach waterfront area, as well as between the waterfront and other downtown neighborhoods. 

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a nonprofit research and education organization that facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places. Public agencies, private firms, and nonprofit organizations request Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) services on a specific issue to get expert and objective advice. ULI convenes a panel of eight ULI members with expertise and knowledge in the subject areas being addressed. The TAP panel will visit the subject site, hear from public and private stakeholders, and deliberate on the assigned questions. At the conclusion of the panel’s work, a presentation is given to stakeholders, followed by a comprehensive, professionally printed written report.

ULI TAP Information

Click here to download a PDF of the slide show presented by ULI on August 1, 2014.