Our Upcoming Events
Plan Downtown Oakland Design Charrette & Open Studio
Some "big ideas" from workshop participants
Some "big ideas" from workshop participants
The Plan Downtown process kicked off with a ten-day public charrette and open studio that brought hundreds of Oaklanders to a series of hands-on workshops, open houses, tours, meetings and one-on-one conversations in the City’s temporary studio on Broadway. In addition to scheduled events, the studio was open to the public all day and some evenings, Monday through Saturday. The map on the right shows a composite of the "Big Ideas" drawn by small groups at the Hands-On Design Workshop.
Although the charrette process ended in October 2015, the Plan Downtown process is far from complete. Please visit the main Plan Downtown Oakland page for more information and to find out how to get involved. Visit the main Plan Downtown Oakland page here.
As part of the charrette, the planning team developed a short film about Oaklanders' dreams for the future. Click here to hear from charrette participants.
Charrette & Open Studio Elements
|Charrette & Open Studio|
Mon. Oct. 19 - Wed. Oct. 28, 2015
|Wed. Oct. 28, 6pm|
|Varies (see schedule)|
|Tues. Oct. 27, 12:30-1:30pm|
|Mon. Oct. 26, 7pm|
|Sat. Oct. 24, 9am|
|Thurs. Oct. 22, 6pm-7pm |
|Tues. Oct. 20 - Tues. Oct. 27, 9pm-6pm|
|Mon. Oct. 19, 6pm|
Work-In-Progress Presentation (Wednesday, October 28, 2015)
Local musicians Oakland Creative Voices and poets from Oakland School for the Arts kicked off the evening’s program with performances, and were followed by local artists, advocates, developers and leaders sharing their ideas about vibrant public spaces, affordability, and inclusivity. Speakers included Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who celebrated the specific plan’s potential benefits for the community and encouraged Oaklanders to take active ownership of their plan.
Victor Dover and Arti Harchekar of the City’s consulting team reflected back the “big ideas” heard from the public, and showed draft concepts for future improvements based on those ideas, developed over the course of the charrette. Major ideas presented included expansion of existing arts districts, designs for two-way streets with protected bike lanes, and long-range possibilities for removing I-980 to reconnect West Oakland with the Downtown.
The consultants emphasized that these images are drafts intended as a starting point for discussion about designs and strategies to reach the community’s goals. Physical designs will go hand in hand with policies and other intangible improvements in the final plan. The evening ended with questions and comments from attendees about both the physical draft plans and policies to address equity, affordable business, housing, and the arts.
- Work-In-Progress Presentation. The presentation included an overview of Plan Downtown and an introduction to the draft ideas developed during the charrette. Your feedback is invited. Click here to view the Work-In-Progress Presentation.
- Design Concepts. Boards depicting draft images of different areas, streetscapes, and design concepts for Downtown were displayed in the Paramount Theatre lobby during the Open House. Click here to view the Work-In-Progress concepts. The file contains all the boards on display during the Work-In-Progress event, including maps of the "Big Ideas" generated during the charrette, and multiple copies of the project goals, which were on display to collect additional public input.
- Design Concept Feedback. Participants were invited to write, draw, and place Post-Its on the design concept boards with their feedback. Click here to view transcribed comments on the design concept boards.
- Meeting Notes. The planning team took notes during the discussion following the presentation of draft plans. Click here to visit the Work-In-Progress discussion notes.
Open House Pin-Up Session (Thursday, October 22)
The planning team paused work in the middle of the charrette to pin their rough sketches up on the wall for the public to view for a few hours in the evening. Attendees asked questions, gave feedback to the designers, and answered some clarifying questions about their vision, based on the community input at the Hands-On Design Workshop. Click here to read a transcription of participants' responses to these questions.
- What does "arts district" mean to you?
- What kinds of open spaces?
- What kinds of housing types?
- How should the City solve affordability?
- What kind of streets?
|Open studio responses|
Hands-On Design Workshop (Monday, October 19, 2015)
|"My vision for Downtown Oakland is..."|
Nearly 300 Oaklanders attended the Hands-On Design Workshop in the Rotunda Building, kicking off the ten days of the charrette. After a presentation by City staff and the consulting team, led by Dover-Kohl Partners, attendees participated in small group activities to learn about community interests and generate ideas for the plan.
In addition to the other members of the public who attended the presentation, a group of activists for affordability and the arts organized under the banner of #keepoaklandcreative joined in the small group discussion and design activity, as well as in the resulting reports back to the larger group that summarized the key ideas generated from the activity.
Community members at the Kick-Off meeting and the Hands-On Design Workshop were asked to write down on a card one word that represents their vision for Downtown Oakland. The resulting word cloud (right) shows the ideas that were repeated most frequently.
- Visual Preference Survey Responses. Groups were given large printouts with examples of building types, and each participant was asked to put green stickers on the urban forms they liked and red stickers on the ones they disliked, and to explain why.
- Maps. Small groups of 10+ people were given a map of Downtown Oakland and asked to draw what they would like to see downtown in the future. Consultants studied all 23 resulting maps, and synthesized the ideas into one representative map.
- Top Three Ideas. Small groups were asked to write down their top three ideas and present them to the larger group at the end of the evening. Click here to see each group's top three ideas.