The Uptown Open Space Plan focuses on the 9th City Council of Long Beach, as it was sponsored by the Vice Mayor and Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Zone, a place-based healthy community initiative sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. This collective investment, on behalf of North Long Beach residents, recognizes that the community is dramatically underserved by available public open space due to historic growth patterns that did not balance park investment with private development. The Plan provides a framework for sustainably expanding public open space access for residents in the study area. The Uptown Open Space Plan not only benefits park planners and City Officials, but it also provides the community a clear vision for a greener community.
Unique to the development of the Plan is the level of participation the community has contributed throughout its entire process. To get robust community input, the project team conducted a series of engaging and interactive workshops asking residents to identify areas of greatest open space need with the dual intent of teaching participants the challenges of planning for park and recreational space. As a result nearly 150 open space ideas were identified by community members with approximately 1,500 votes cast for all of the potential open space trends. Community engagement was concluded with a celebration of their hard work by prototyping a fitness trail as a color fun run.