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Oxnard to Turn Alleys Into Amenities

Admin on December 28, 2015 - in Feature, Featured

The Oxnard Green Alleys Plan is a guidebook developed by the international landscaping firm SWA for the City of Oxnard to transform its underutilized alleys into amenities that provide multiple benefits to the community.

The Oxnard Green Alleys Plan guides revitalization of Oxnard’s alleys for providing bicycle and pedestrian connections, improving storm water quality, mitigating the urban heat island, creating open space for community recreation, and supporting local businesses.

Challenge

The majority of Oxnard’s 86 linear miles of alleys need to be resurfaced, and the cash-strapped city does not have the funds to maintain them. Many of the alleys are located in the lower income neighborhoods of Oxnard, which are also impacted by sparse street tree coverage and higher crime rates.

Intent

Green alley projects will allow community members to reclaim neglected spaces and contribute to their revitalization so that the final designs support their needs. The Oxnard Green Alleys Plan provides a template and menu of options so the City and community members can work together to implement unique and relevant green alley projects.

Planning Response

The plan aims to effect the following changes:

  • Integrate shared street principles to improve safety for all users.
  • Increase pedestrian and bicycle activity by providing safe connections to destinations.
  • Increase access to community space. recreation opportunities, and gardening.
  • Reduce undesired activity Ei make alleys safer for people who live and work beside them.
  • Support the local economy and compact community development.
  • Improve water quality, reduce landscape use of potable water: reduce the urban heat island and improve air quality.
  • Engage community members in green alley planning and projects.
  • Provide a layered, phasable, green alley design approach with a base set of guidelines supplemented by objective-oriented “typology” guidelines.

Oxnard Green Alleys Plan Benefits

The design team engaged with 59 members of the community in outreach workshops, which provided the opportunity for neighbors to talk with each other and see their neighborhood in a different way. The project prioritizes underserved neighborhoods that will benefit most from green alley project benefits.

Will enhance interactions between local businesses and the public by providing outdoor dining. seating and event areas, as well as a more pleasant walking environment in business districts. Business owners are being encouraged to collaborate and share responsibility with the City.

The city stands to benefit with reduced city expenditures on illegal dumping and graffiti clean-up.

The plan provides guidelines for permeable and/or recycled content paving, storm water filtration, living walls, and rainwater harvesting. It prioritizes neighborhoods with higher levels of impermeable surfaces and less street tree coverage, where green alley projects can make the biggest positive impact. The plants specified in the plan provide a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plant pallette.Oxnard Green Alleys OXNs401 before base.jpg Oxnard Green Alleys OXNs401 150430after.jpg

The report also identifies potential sources of local funding, state and federal grant programs, and private foundations to help Oxnard implement green alley projects.

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