Downtown Long Beach (DTLB) will soon find some of its sidewalks adorned with directional decals as a part of a new connectivity project. The Explore DTLB Sidewalk Decal project was initiated by the DLBA’s Public Realm Committee out of a desire to identify tactical and relatively inexpensive solutions to foster pedestrian connectivity within and between DTLB’s neighborhoods. Through the use of bold and distinctive decals strategically placed on Downtown sidewalks, the project aims to encourage on-foot exploration of Downtown’s unique neighborhoods.

“DLBA recognizes that getting foot traffic to traverse from one neighborhood to another is not always an organic experience, and therefore, devising a fun, unique means to connect one area to another in the pursuit of foot traffic can be aided through creative means,” stated DLBA’s Placemaking Manager, Sean Warner.

Long Beach graphic artist Ian Jahns was selected to be the project designer through a Call for Artist process. DLBA staff and members of the DLBA’s Public Realm Committee worked with Ian to refine his initial design concept. To ensure consistency, visibility, and

legibility, the design utilizes the DLBA’s brand colors and takes cues from design shapes used in the DLBA logo.  The design also incorporates the DLBA’s 1.38 Un-Square Miles campaign. Additionally, to acknowledge the distinctiveness of each DTLB neighborhood, the decals feature the neighborhood name along with an accompanying unique color. The decals, which are 3’ x 3’, include arrows pointing in a specific direction to nearby destinations, along with estimated walking times. The destinations are noted by using universal icons such as a knife and fork, coffee cup, beer mug, and shopping bag, among others.

A total of fifty decals will be adhered to sidewalks in the Downtown Core, East Village Arts District, Waterfront, and West Gateway neighborhoods. The decals will be installed in October and be in place for a period of approximately six months, at which point the program will be assessed for possible continuation or expansion.

“The Explore DTLB! Sidewalk Decal project is a novel approach in how our sidewalks can be more than just utilitarian in nature,” said Sara Hickman, Co-Chair of DLBA’s Public Realm Committee. “Upon completion, the sidewalk decals will add to Downtown’s urban canvas while also promoting pedestrian exploration of its eclectic neighborhoods.”