Sustainably integrating a town and campus
Opticos worked to create a master plan and revitalization strategy for Isla Vista, an unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County, California, adjacent to the University of California at Santa Barbara. The community’s driving goals were to create a model, sustainable community, and to allow growth that reinforced the community’s “beach town” character.
The Master Plan process started with a seven-day charrette, led by Opticos, that engaged the various stakeholders and integrated a multidisciplinary team (including an economist, transportation/transit consultant, traffic engineer, and a landscape architect) necessary for this complex project.
The goal of this plan was to establish a socially, physically, economically, and politically sustainable framework for growth and change. It included downtown revitalization recommendations, circulation strategies including traffic calming and pedestrian safety, recommended improvements to the transit systems, the development of housing types to allow incremental growth while maintaining the character of the community, and the design of an appropriate interface between UCSB and Isla Vista. A Form-Based Code was created to ensure proper implementation of the vision.
The master plan process was co-sponsored by UCSB, Santa Barbara County, and the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District. One of the primary goals of the master plan was to create a cohesive vision for these three entities.