Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning


City and Regional Planning


Vicente Del Rio


An area can be torn by the competition between the preservation of its character and the desire for new development. Cayucos’ downtown area is recognized by both residents and visitors as a special place with a strong, small, coastal town feel. However, issues such as accessibility, public amenities, parking, maintenance, and general development needs have to be dealt with. This thesis deals with the issue of how to plan for change while maintaining the character of Cayucos, and presents an enhancement plan proposal for its downtown. The development of this plan was based on a research-based design methodology, which included a literature review on sense of place, a review of five case studies, and fieldwork with surveys, interviews, and on-site observations and analysis. The research included the understanding of the needs, interests, and expectations of the stakeholders, including local business owners, residents, and visitors, in order to help define core issues and to inform the vision and a series of responsive goals for the area’s enhancement. The final enhancement plan proposal followed a design approach that was responsive to site, context, and stakeholders, and will contribute to Cayucos’ quest for the increase of the quality of its downtown while responding to market and development needs.