June 2011 home page

  New View Volunteer
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


Al Corti.

Previous issues of the Sandpiper introduced recently appointed members of the Design Review Board. Al Corti recently volunteered and was also chosen to serve as a board member. Like his colleagues, he has an impressive and varied career in the development field including planning and management of large-scale projects such as Horton Plaza and Fashion Valley.

He has a unique perspective on urban or city design--one frequently described as “new wave of urbanism” although it’s reflected in the design of most older American cities. The design concept or perspective is to allow for the mixing and cohabitation of a broad variety of land uses—no longer separating them one from another, a division contributing to what many critics refer to as boring, low density sprawl, lacking human scale and stimulation. “New wave urbanism” often identified as “smart growth” promotes the ideal of “mixed-land uses.”

Al’s has an abiding interest and successful record of achievement in the planning and development of mixed-uses. For the most part, his accomplishments have primarily been in the promotion of new communities, such as the Simi Valley Town Center-- a mixed use development which includes a regional mall, incorporating department stores, shops, offices, entertainment facilities, restaurants, a farmer’s market and numerous residential communities in close proximity, offering an expansive choice of apartments in different price-ranges.

Simi Valley Town Center, like many others with which Al has been affiliated-- both nationally and internationally--embrace some combination of residential, commercial, office, institutional, or other land uses. A recent report recently referred to this as the “urban village model”—a dense, bustling, mixed-use community having “walkable, livable, workable and shoppable neighborhoods.”

This philosophy of urban design and revitalization was recently discussed and examined as a part of Del Mar’s form-based code revitalization program. Al was a contributing member of the committee and actively engaged in the planning and design effort. It seems that the work of the Committee is being given further consideration and emphasis as a part of the Community Conversation program. Interestingly, numerous residents, who participated in the discussions, recommended the possibility of promoting mixed-land uses in the downtown area, particularly the addition of higher density housing.

No doubt, Al Corti, will give further voice to the idea as a member of the Design Review Board.


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