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La Vida Urbana

Armando Rubalcaba Rogers

César Torres-Bustamante

March 2021

La Vida Urbana is a project movement that enhances the vacant parking lots' connections and capabilities and underused building spaces within the Downtown core of Santa Maria, California. As the largest city in Santa Barbara County with over 100,000 residents, the population continues to be ever-growing. It comes into conflict with a Downtown that has emerged to be an urban void due to a lack of innovative interactions and online shopping. The cities ideal focus in 1975 failed to meet future needs due to vast parking and shopping areas that now overwhelm a potential place for pedestrian-focused use. Downtown cannot stay as a traditional area because the retail market has changed with online shopping and under usage. Though the retail world is changing, the concept of reutilizing and revitalizing the space for an ideal escape can still have a central role that will never be satisfied online. The project's framework focuses on creating innovative programmable spaces, cultural art incorporations from local artists, and a pedestrian-oriented city woven together by well-designed streetscapes.

Analysis Connections




I am motivated by people who seek to achieve better for themselves and their environment through what people view each day. A quote comes into mind whenever something troubling occurs, and that is, "don't ever let somebody tell you, you can't do something. Not even me." (Will Smith). I take this in mind day by day because everyone has troubling times achieving greatness. Repeating this quote allows me to say that I am a transfer student from San Diego and will soon be obtaining my B.A. in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Landscape Sustainability from Cal Poly, SLO.

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