Dozens of architects, urban planners, and designers from across the country and around the world are completing work on proposals for the revitalization of Isla Vista that will be featured in an exhibit opening Thursday, November 2.
The designs are being entered in an international competition to identify a vision that will serve as a blueprint for a master plan for Isla Vista. That plan is to be developed in cooperation with the local community over the next three years.
An unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County, Isla Vista is bordered on three sides by the University of California, Santa Barbara, and, on the fourth, by the Pacific Ocean. The Isla Vista Revitalization Urban Design Competition is sponsored by the County of Santa Barbara; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.
A panel made up of five community representatives and five California planning and design professionals will serve as the jury for the competition. The judges will select five finalists, to be announced Sunday, November 12. The design teams responsible for those five entries will each receive a $10,000 honorarium to support their participation and defray their expenses during the second stage of the competition, during which they will refine their proposals and add detailed area studies. The winner of the competition, to be announced in February, will receive an additional $10,000 honorarium. The sponsors expect to negotiate a contract for professional services with the designers of the winning entry to help produce the new master plan.
The long-range master plan will offer ideas on a wide variety of issues in Isla Vista, among them housing rehabilitation, mixed-use development, parks and recreation, population density, transportation, parking, and downtown revitalization. Organizers of the competition say the primary goal of the new master plan will be to improve the quality of life in Isla Vista, provide housing that is affordable for residents at all income levels, and to make Isla Vista livable, safe, and enjoyable for all members of the community.
All of the entries in the competition will be on display at Embarcadero Hall, 935 Embarcadero del Norte in Isla Vista, on most days from November 2 through November 15. The exhibit, called [Re]vision Isla Vista, is free and open to the public. Those attending the exhibit will have an opportunity to submit written comments on the entries to the competition jury in advance of its selection of the finalists.
An opening night program will be held on November 2, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Each entry will be made up of two drawings or schematics measuring 30 inches by 40 inches, plus an accompanying narrative describing the concept. Until the five finalists are selected, the design teams behind all of the entries will remain anonymous.
After the exhibit closes at Embarcadero Hall, the five finalists will be on display at the University Center at UCSB from November 16 through December.