The Inland Empire Section of the American Planning Association (IES-APA) announced that Michael Baker’s Pueblo Viejo District Implementation Strategy Plan was the overall winner in the Urban Design category.
The Implementation Strategy Plan was created as a follow-up to the Pueblo Viejo Revitalization crafted by Michael Baker and adopted by the City of Coachella in 2010. The Implementation Strategy featured a well-organized, understandable, easy-to-navigate and graphically rich design guidelines document.
While the Pueblo Viejo District in downtown Coachella boasts a rich cultural heritage, the city’s rapid growth resulted several development challenges, and a streetscape where few buildings displayed the vernacular architecture of its historic past. Michael Baker’s plan included:
- New zoning recommendations suggesting development densities and land uses rooted in market realities, including housing affordability requirements.
- Design guidelines balancing a respect for the district’s rich heritage with modern mixed-use development solutions.
- A parking study that informed parking ratio recommendations and guidance for managing parking demand, while considering the advantages of mixed-use development and alternative transportation.
The architectural design guidelines drew inspiration from past to preserve the legacy by using an eclectic mix of Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Neoclassical, and Postmodern/Architectural Innovation styles. The design also focused on sustainability, signage, public art, landscaping, and placemaking elements.