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Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Main Beach Park and Heisler Park

Laguna Beach

CA

USA

Contributed by 
Ben Fried
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 7, 2002
December 14, 2017

Laguna Beach's two-acre waterfront park is linked to Heisler Park, a two-mile greenway that runs along the bluffs of the coastline.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Both parks have a variety of things to do: a boardwalk for strolling, basketball and volleyball courts, play structures, a recreation center with lawn bowling, several open grassy areas for games and picnicking. They offer recreation on all levels, including art and culture, and draw thousands of users per day.

Access & Linkages

The activity centers in the park are connected to each other through an efficient system of paths and green spaces as well as the boardwalk. Overall, the park is easily accessible from downtown for people walking across the Pacific Coast Highway, which has been "traffic calmed" with landscaped medians (including topiary). The highway itself is relatively narrow as it passes through downtown as well, causing the traffic to slow down and creating a balance with pedestrian use.

Comfort & Image

Main Beach Park has artist-designed, site-specific benches created through a city-sponsored contest, along with traditional benches (some of which have been donated by residents and are marked with a plaque). Public art is integrated into the park in flowerbeds and other unusual places that allow a sense of discovery; Heisler Park has several donated sculptures. The park is a popular site for weddings - especially a gazebo overlooking the ocean. The parks are fully maintained by the city, through its general fund.

Uses & Activities

The park is used during both the day and the evening, throughout the week and the weekend, in the summer and the winter by everyone from shoppers and residents to tourists. People walk, people watch, play a variety of sports, some swim and many just spend time there talking with others.

Sociability

It is a very social place and a source of pride for the community.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park
Main Beach Park and Heisler Park

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
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Call for proposals for placemaking week due march 20!