Upcoming Lecture

Streets for Living

How the public realm can transform SLO’s growth

Public space helped cities survive the pandemic. There’s a lesson for cities to thrive beyond it.

On October 21, the first event in the series, Streets for Living | How the public realm can transform SLO’s growth, will bring Blaine Merker, Managing Director of Gehl, to explore what an urban public realm could look like that matches SLO’s scenery and economic potential, why it can combat the epidemic of isolation and how the city can emerge from the challenge of Covid-19 smarter and stronger.

Tickets are $10 and include SLO Provisions appetizers as well as local wine and beer.


Streets account for 25-30 percent of most cities’ land area and can make up two-thirds of their public open spaces. Yet even in cities with the greenest of buildings and the completest streets, the most deeply sustainable strategy of all is a public realm that seamlessly connects people, places, and activities. 

Human-centered streets that are destinations in their own right are the secret sauce of the places we choose for our vacations and they support local economies that can’t be offshored. They also are the foundation for a more equitable, safe, and socially connected community.


Blaine Merker is an Urban Designer inspired by the challenge of making cities that support human happiness, equity, health and connectedness. As Managing Director he heads the San Francisco office of Gehl, an international design consultancy based in Copenhagen, and directs fine-grained, catalytic projects that steer cities and organizations towards sustainability, creativity and long-term value creation. Blaine is a seasoned listener and facilitator, engaging communities, governments, developers, academics and cultural institutions in cross-disciplinary collaboration. He comes to Gehl from leading Rebar Art and Design Studio and is a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design, where he earned his masters degree.


October 21, 2021

Doors open at 5:45 event starts at 6 p.m.

The Penny
664 Marsh St, Downtown San Luis Obispo

COVID 19 safety protocols will be in place, including outdoor seating, social distancing and/or wearing masks, as determined at the time of the event.

Bike parking available on site, Marsh St. garage is recommended for car parking.

“I’m curious about everything. Even subjects that don’t interest me.”

Alex Trebek