View Full Version : Riverside, California
soup or man
April 1st, 2005, 09:03 PM
Ok..these are a few pictures of Riverside, California. One of a few cities that has a 'historic' downtown. It's about 45 mintues east of LA and as you can clearly see, has a very European feel to it. In 1871, Riverside became the birthplace of Southern California's highly successful navel orange industry. By 1895 -- with the strength from early incarnations of the world-famous Sunkist citrus consortium -- Riverside was listed as the richest city per capita in the United States. Today, a state park commemorates the city's historical role all the while vast navel orange groves still remain along the city's southern edge.
Fun Fact: Riverside was the first city that showed 'Gone with the Wind'
Comments welcome of course. :)
April 1st, 2005, 11:16 PM
^reminds me of pasadena
April 2nd, 2005, 03:21 AM
Yea why don't you try showing them the other aspect of Riverside. Riverside is UGLY. If you ever drive through you'll be like UGGGHHHH. Reminds me of Barstow. And that is definitely not a good thing.
April 2nd, 2005, 03:33 AM
^glad to see your trying to live up to your name, ego killer....
Great pics, BTW
April 2nd, 2005, 04:40 AM
^glad to see your trying to live up to your name, ego killer....
Great pics, BTW
Just speaking the truth. From someone who has lived close enough to it, and been through it enough times to have a strong opinion on it.
April 2nd, 2005, 05:44 AM
haha, alright. I know the feeling.
March 29th, 2013, 08:13 AM
Riverside as a Potential Major U.S. City
The City of Riverside has a population of 303,871 residents and a land area of approximately 81.444 square miles.
While Riverside has a downtown that encompasses a square mile, more than half of that square mile which is designated as "Downtown" is taken up by single family residential houses (on the bright side, there's plenty of beautiful Victorian homes in Downtown!). It is for this reason (as well as that the majority of the city is taken up by detached single family residential homes, with big-box shopping centers lining the main streets) that Riverside is seen as a sprawling city lacking much urbanity.
But Riverside's "sprawl" is curable! I believe that with the city's current framework and extensive available flat farm land to develop on, the City of Riverside has the potential to (with proper city planning) develop into a major U.S. city, rivaling the square mileage of "classic urban" developments with the likes of LA or San Diego (By "classic", I mean the kind of urbanity you see in East Coast cities; in other words, dense, high rise urbanity).
Let's begin by reviewing where Riverside is today in terms of city planning. The City Planning Committee demonstrates an interest in promoting Riverside as the Inland Empire's urban center. In an effort to design a more sophisticated mass transit system, Mayor Bailey just recently released news of a streetcar plan:
RIVERSIDE: Mayor laying plans for streetcar system : Riverside (http://blog.pe.com/riverside/2013/03/28/riverside-mayor-laying-plans-for-streetcar-system/)
The desired streetcar route described by the Mayor would roughly come out to appear as so:
While a streetcar system would help provide a transportation alternative and promote private developments along the rail path, Riverside still lacks major urban developments which is the cause for so many of its residents commuting to LA/OC for employment. However, this problem has a solution. While it may be seen as a way to preserve the city's history as a city built around the citrus industry, Riverside's many acres reserved for farming oranges holds the potential for massive urban developments. In this respect, the acres of land reserved for orange farms can be seen as the greatest city planning maneuver ever performed by a Southern Californian city, as it allows many miles of Riverside's flatlands to be preserved and protected from suburban sprawl which has consumed nearly the entirety of Southern California.
Now while it is controversial to suggest the City of Riverside to plan new urban nodes on the land currently reserved for plant-life, for the sake of this forum let's discuss what the city could look like if that land were to be used for such development.
The first area of land is located in a prime location, right next to UCR (I believe the land is
owned by UCR). The land area equals 1 square mile and is the exact size of Downtown Riverside
(both residential and urban blocks). Here is the plot I am speaking about:
I have drawn a perimeter to compare the size of the orange grove to Downtown:
Just to put things into perspective, the 1 square mile of orange groves is roughly the size of Downtown LA's main urban core. This comparison helps to demonstrate the enormous potential that urbanizing this single square mile of rural land could do for the identity of Riverside. This plot of land is already located within Riverside's most urban area. Offering this land for urbanization could help create a central urban center for the Inland Empire here in Riverside.
I've drawn a perimeter to show just how large this plot of land is and how much of Downtown LA could fit in it:
The second space of land is located in Arlington Heights, east of Victoria, south of Jefferson St and north of La Sierra. This area encompasses about 5 square miles of land for orange groves.
As of today, this area is reserved as the California Citrus State Historic Park. However, due to budget cuts the state is considering the closure of this park. Riverside County has tried to absorb this park, but due to financial stress the county was denied. The future of this park is still up in the air.
Since this discussion is about hypothetically urbanizing the land that is taken up by Riverside's orange groves, it is of note that this land, if urbanized, would make up a larger urban form than every US downtown except for NYC. This area would also be serviced by the 91 freeway almost immediately next to it.
Here is a photo of the land:
I diagrammed the blue squares to help measure the size of the land mass, as each signifies 1 square mile. The purple area is roughly 2 square miles also made up of orange groves:
Taking into account the urbanization of both of these areas of flat land that Riverside currently reserves for orange groves, Riverside has the potential to have a total of roughly 8 square miles of pure urban development, thereby creating 3 urban nodes (displayed in red and purple):
It is of note that I only considered half of Riverside's current downtown as urban in the diagram, being that it today is half taken up by residential housing.
Here is a diagram to show the 3 urban nodes alongside Mayor Bailey's streetcar plan:
Few large, developed cities have so much flat, undeveloped land at its disposal, especially in Southern California. Riverside is unique in that respect and has, in my opinion, incredible potential to become the true urban center of the Inland Empire, and one of the major cities in Southern California. This enormous amount of land (roughly 8 square miles) offers the City of Riverside a blank canvas to develop itself as whatever kind of city it desires to become. It is perhaps extraordinary luck that these large plots of land were reserved; this spared it from becoming wasteful sprawl like every other Southern Californian city.
So what are your thoughts? How would you develop these plots of land? Do you see Riverside becoming a major urban city? What do you think will become of this land in 200-300 years when Southern California is likely to be maxed out of land due to overpopulation? In that regard, having such large plots of flat land will become a godsend as suburban sprawl can no longer service the needs of such a large populace.
Let the discussion begin!
March 30th, 2013, 03:17 AM
March 30th, 2013, 03:18 AM
I like the idea of more smarter developments in Riverside, perhaps similar to Riverwalk but more pedestrian friendly and mixed use. Talking about developing the greenbelt of Riverside in the same breath as light rail/streetcar is problematic. Development in this area is exactly what OldRiversideFoundation types don't want, so associating this with light rail would demonize it, and they are two different issues.
I would make the argument that Riverside is already a major urban city, just without the kind of structure and development associated with similar cities of the same population. A rail system should serve the residents and communities that are already there. The bus lines on the streets that you indicated in the maps are the busiest lines. There are plenty of empty lots and developable land along these routes, especially on University where many a sleazy motel was razed in the early 2000's. Development should come in the form of mixed use projects on these properties. To get a real urban feel, Riverside needs to focus on building itself up rather than expanding into areas like the greenbelt or the UCR experiment groves along MLK. These areas would most likely get developed with more subdivisions of low density housing anyways. I would like to provide Portland, Oregon as an example of a city that has agricultural use and open space providing barriers to sprawl and development. This has caused the development of this small(yet major) city to be dense and urban.