The City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) has eleven official public open spaces. Managing these places presents a challenge in providing top-tier environmental stewardship, while also accommodating passive recreational use and access, in an era of fiscal limitations and competing priorities. Given that reality and the changing population dynamics in the US, providing equal access to these facilities is of increasing importance, whether by car, bike, on foot or via public transit. These open spaces provide value (environmental, economic and social) primarily to residents, as well as visitors, and gaining a data-driven understanding of that value was a primary goal of this study. Within this framework, team of undergraduate and graduate students from CalPoly, San Luis Obispo worked under the direction of Dr. William Riggs and Natural Resources Manager Robert Hill, to evaluate the conditions, characteristics-of, and visitors-to SLO open spaces. To accomplish this, the project team conducted an initial facilities assessment of the existing conditions at the entrances to SLO’s open spaces. Following this, a survey was conducted to gather information about use, conditions and travel / access to local open spaces. This was complimented by use data gathered from electronic counters placed at open space entrances.


Urban Studies and Planning





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