IntroductionContextDesign ConceptsFuture OpportunitiesConclusionsAppendicesPDF of StudyResource LinksContact Us


Significant Opportunities to Guide the Design Process

Download complete PDF of the Design Concepts of the Long Beach RiverLink study

The purpose is to envision possibilities for an integrated open space and recreation network in the westside of Long Beach. The methods and research provide opportunities for creative and appropriate design strategies applied to the urban fabric of the westside of Long Beach. Furthermore, the research provides the theoretical background to justify the decisions made in the design process. The following showcases the design ideas for reconnecting the westside of Long Beach to the Los Angeles River, and the specific strategies to make the concept function appropriately.

  • Create and enhance connections from the city to the river
  • Enhance outdoor recreational opportunities
  • Promote the adaptive reuse of existing sites and infrastructure
  • Create and enhance connections between neighborhoods
  • Encourage pedestrian and human-powered means of transportation
  • Enhance the urban forest along streets and within sites
  • Create connections between people and the natural and physical environments

RiverLink Concept

The RiverLink concept designates a system of gateways, pathways, connections, and destinations directing visitors through the westside of Long Beach and to the Los Angeles River greenway.


Gateways announce entry into the RiverLink System and are located along the watershed ridgelines where they intersect with major streets. The RiverLink gateways are of major significance because they denote the entry into the Riverlink system and guide movement from the neighborhoods to designated routes that access the Los Angeles River greenway. The gateways into the greenway designate where the river connects to Long Beach, to adjacent cities in the north, and to San Pedro Bay Estuary in the south.


Pathways are the streets and routes that direct people and vehicles throughout the westside of Long Beach to the river greenway. The pathway designation begins along the street at the gateway and continues along the street to a connection or to the river destination, and then ultimately to a gateway on the other bank of the river. A unifying theme will distinguish pathways from other local streets as major river access routes.


Connections exist along the pathways at the intersections where, at minimum, two transit networks meet, either pedestrian, bicycle, and/or vehicular, and particularly at mass transit stops or stations. This allows easy access to the RiverLink system from the rest of the city and surrounding areas.


Destinations are the places of interest within the RiverLink system. The system will focus on the destinations of parks and open spaces along the river, which create the terminating points of pathways. Destinations are the major attraction of the system and can evolve as potential additional open space becomes available and as the needs of Long Beach change. Furthermore, they will add to the city’s goal of eight acres of park and open space for every 1,000 residents.

For more information on Destinations click here...

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@2003 "Long Beach RiverLink: Connecting city to river...envisioning possibilities" is a trademark of the San Pedro Bay Estuary Project.