Downtown Glendale California is thriving: a compact and successful retail, business, and residential center. But like many cities, car traffic and road design make parts of Glendale inhospitable to people on foot, hurting the storefront businesses that are key economic drivers of an active city core. One particular area of downtown that is affected is Artsakh Avenue, a two-block stretch of road that sits in the heart of the town’s “Arts and Entertainment District.” Despite its intimate scale, Artsakh is the main collector road for two centralized parking structures, and also serves as a service lane for many area businesses. These functions, while critical, reduce pedestrian safety and sense of place, and hurt the shops that line the street. Understanding these issues, the Glendale City council has spearheaded an urban design and placemaking effort to “Activate Artsakh.”
Managed by the City’s Economic Development Department with support from City Planning, Studio One Eleven is the project’s lead consultant. Working with a talented team of designers and technical firms, we’re creating a stakeholder supported plan for a new Artsakh Avenue that balances the needs of car and delivery access with the desire to improve the public realm and create an artistic sense of place that stands out in the downtown landscape. We’re hoping that this project, once implemented, will not only activate this district in Glendale but act as a template for other cities that are grappling with balancing conflicting demands on streets and public spaces. Read more about our efforts here and visit the City’s project website at activateartsakh.com.