rachelle lopez LEED® AP

City & Regional Planning Thesis: Enhancement Plan for Downtown Cayucos, California.


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.

Please visit  http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/171  to view or download a full version of my thesis.

The chapter in my thesis entitled Sense of Place was also published in Focus in April of 2010 (Journal of the City and Regional Planning Department. College of Architecture and Environmental Design. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California. Volume IIV).

Please visit  http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/focus/  to view or download a full version of the journal.

Please visit  http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/focus/vol7/iss1/16/  to view or download a full version of my article.