Our Vision of Downtown Dublin Wins an Honor Award for Urban Design

by: French Clements | November 1, 2021

We’ve always been proud of our efforts with the East Bay city of Dublin to define the trajectory of their emerging downtown. Well, we’re even prouder now. Our team’s work, as submitted to AIA California’s Awards for Urban Design, has taken the top prize in this new competition.

According to the judges, “The jury was unanimous in this project. One commented that it was the most impressive of the submissions. The project spoke to community outreach, and that the size and scale was well-integrated within the surrounding fabric. It creates identity and has a sense of unity and purpose, combining the nature of the mixed use with the surrounding environment. ‘As a concept project, this is excellent,’ said one juror.”

This project, created in collaboration with Urban Field Studio, is a key step in the transformation of Dublin’s downtown area from a traditional, auto-centric big-box shopping center into a walkable, transit-oriented, urban destination. Our team’s work, known as the Preferred Vision, recommends the creation of an extensive street grid network, including a “main street”-style experience, a town square, and a mix of supportive land uses such as retail, office, hotel, and residential. These measures are intended to create a focal point and sense of place for the surrounding community. They would diversify the economic base of the retail district, inviting more residents to downtown with new multi-family housing and putting office and hotel at the center of activity day and night.

Rendering by ELS as part of the Downtown Dublin Preferred Vision in Dublin, CA.

The new district’s anchor is a one-acre park surrounded by shops and restaurants and ready for activation by classes, concerts, movies, markets, and other events. Surrounding the square, a new pedestrian-friendly street grid breaks larger existing blocks into smaller, more walkable segments, lined with active ground-floor uses. The Preferred Vision is built upon the support of both private and public sectors and will guide future development, elevating the City’s status as a regional destination for jobs, housing, and cultural activities.

The AIA CA Awards for Urban Design are administered jointly by AIA California and the California Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CCASLA).