CMH would be part of the Wellness District in Midtown.
The idea of a Wellness District in Midtown originated from a 2013 study by an Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel sponsored by the City of Ventura and the Community Memorial Hospital (CMH). Later incorporated into the City of Ventura’s Economic Strategy, the idea stemmed from the fact that both the CMH and Ventura County’s Medical Center multimillion-dollar expansion projects, together with the associated medical facilities in the area, could leverage a mix of retail, eateries, offices, and residential uses which impact can be highly positive to the surrounding community and the city as a whole.
This spring, a graduate studio class in the City and Regional Planning Program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was charged with the development of an urban design concept plan for Ventura’s Wellness District. The area to be covered by their plan includes 13 blocks around and in direct influence of the two hospitals. This Cal Poly class exercise is being encouraged by the City of Ventura’s Community Development Department who welcomed the students’ initiative as an opportunity to explore fresh “outside-the-box” ideas and share them with the community. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s City Planning Department is famous for contributing with its class projects to many local jurisdictions and community organizations across California.
In their attempt to understand that part of Midtown and before developing any ideas for its possible future development, the students have interviewed several community members during their field studies. However, they want more input from residents, from those who work or use the area, as well as from the Ventura community at large. An online survey was created to understand how the area and its problems are perceived as well as what would the community expect from a Wellness District? Which land uses, architectural types, circulation and street design should be encouraged?
Anyone familiar with Ventura’s Midtown is highly encouraged to complete the on-line survey and contribute to the efforts by the Cal Poly class. The survey can be accessed at:
Cal Poly’s Wellness District Urban Design Concept Plan will be an important contribution to the community debate and the decision-making process for the future of Ventura’s Midtown and if the Wellness District concept moves forward in the future n. The students’ proposals and ideas, as well as the final report will be presented to the community at the Ventura City Hall on Friday June 3.