Ascent’s Urban Design and Planning Practice Leader, Christine Babla, has spent her career working in urban areas on housing infill and redevelopment, integrating transit, walkability, and mixed use to create complete communities and streamline the production of housing. She is recognized for her skill in bringing together a variety of disciplines and stakeholders to establish a distinctive community vision and for translating that vision into concise, graphic, and user-friendly vision plans, design standards, and regulatory documents. Christine’s project experience includes specific plans, community plans, master plans, streetscape design, design standards, hybrid form-based codes, and development of feasibility studies, with a special emphasis on smart growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable design. Her projects have received numerous awards, including an American Planning Association (APA) California Chapter Award of Merit, an APA Los Angeles Comprehensive Plan Award (Large Jurisdiction), and two Congress for New Urbanism awards for planning and urban design. Her notable professional experience includes the following:
- Led planning and design efforts for the San Diego Unified Port District, including serving as a primary author of the Port Master Plan Update.
- Led the award-winning Long Beach Downtown Plan, which was instrumental in streamlining housing and infill development of downtown Long Beach over the past decade.
- Work throughout the San Diego region, including with the City and County of San Diego on urban design and community plan updates including the Midway and Old Town Community Plan Updates, the Kearny Mesa Community Plan Update, the Palm Avenue Revitalization Plan, the Otay Mesa Community Plan Update, the Alpine Community Plan Update, the San Marcos General Plan, and the Imperial Beach Commercial/Mixed-Use Zoning Update.
- Work with the cities of Los Angeles, South Gate, and Pasadena, including leading the Western Avenue Corridor Street Enhancement Strategy, the South Gate Gateway District Specific Plan, the award-winning South Gate Comprehensive Zoning Update and Hybrid Form-Based Code, and working with the City of Pasadena on the Central Area Specific Plans.
- Leading the development of the Objective Design Standards toolkit, the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s statewide guidance related to Senate Bill 330 implementation.
- Most recently, working with Sacramento and Bay Area cities on projects such as the Sacramento Comprehensive Siting Plan to Address Homelessness, the City of Sacramento Stockton Boulevard Specific Plan, the County of Sacramento Stockton Boulevard Special Planning Area Update, the Elk Grove Old Town Special Planning Area Update, the Roseville Commercial Corridors Specific Plans, the Sunnyvale Village Center Master Plan, and the Milpitas Gateway-Main Street Specific Plan.
- Served as an instructor at San Diego State University, teaching City Planning Process, and as a guest lecturer in urban design.
To maintain her work-life balance, you’ll often find Christine outside with her family exploring cities, parks, and waterfronts. She recently adopted two kittens, Raya and Boon; keep your eyes peeled for guest appearances during virtual meetings.