City Heights Urban Village

The vision was to build a center with a community focus, turning an outdated, very low-density neighborhood into a higher-density, urban village for the 21st century. Developed as a partnering venture between public agencies and private enterprise, the challenge was to create a plan that retained the existing mixed-use pedestrian quality while adding new urban infrastructure, retail development, and density.

With a strong participatory planning process, a number of issues were identified as critical to the project’s success: safe and secure streets, affordable, state-of-the-art retail, community facilities, open space and an increased tax base. The plan has achieved its goals. A distressed neighborhood has been revitalized, residents and businesses are flourishing and investing in the community, and new opportunities exist for future development. Most importantly, the cultural diversity of the neighborhood is successfully integrated through public art.