The changing functionality of public domain and the physical encroachment of privatization into public space have led to a mixed bag of results on the Gaslamp Quarter’s 5th Avenue. While physically decreasing the available public space for general purpose and use, privatization of the public sidewalks through sidewalk cafes has generally increased the functionality of the public space. Walkability has not been truly hampered in terms of traditional standards and the sidewalk cafes have generally created a sense of place for a downtown community not long ago removed from less than ideal conditions. Private-public partnership between the community’s business owners and the local governmental entities has created a setting for revival and continued growth for the Downtown San Diego community.
With the opening of PETCO Park in 2004, and reinvestment within the community, Downtown San Diego has turned from a blighted community into a...
With the opening of PETCO Park in 2004, and reinvestment within the community, Downtown San Diego has turned from a blighted community into a bustling center of activity. However, with the rapid ascent of residential and retail space, Downtown has seen an increase in the need for open space and widened public domain. The research presented in this case study examines the effects that privatization has had on the formation and transformation of public space in the Downtown San Diego community. Specifically, the case study focuses on the Gaslamp Quarter’s 5th Avenue and the spillover of sidewalk cafes into public space. With an emphasis on what can be perceived as an invasion of public domain, one can begin to see that an extensive reach of privatization of public space has created a decline physically but not functionally in true public domain in Downtown San Diego.