Civitas Unveils Updated Design of Ocean Beach Pier

Press Release

The City of San Diego has selected the latest design based on the public’s preferences.

San Diego, California – April 8, 2024 – On Saturday, Civitas, an award-winning global landscape architecture and urban design firm, as a subconsultant to Moffatt and Nichol, a premier waterfront engineering practice, presented the latest design concepts for the replacement of the Ocean Beach Pier based on extensive community outreach and engagement over the past year. The presentation event provided community members with an exclusive look at the latest concept that the City of San Diego has selected based on the public’s preferences.

The Ocean Beach Pier, an iconic structure stretching over 1,900 feet into the Pacific Ocean, has been a beloved landmark in San Diego since the 1960s. As a result, the City is pursuing a potential replacement of the pier as the best option considering the ongoing costs of repairs, the need to modernize the existing facility and anticipation of future sea level rise. The project team, which includes Civitas as well as the lead consultant Moffatt & Nichol, RNT Architects, and marketing and public engagement consultant Cook + Schmid, has been diligently working with the City of San Diego on renewal and replacement plans to ensure the pier remains a cherished destination for generations to come.

Civitas, known for its inclusive and community-driven design process, has actively involved the local community in shaping the future of Ocean Beach Pier. In addition to the hundreds who’ve attended in-person meetings, over 4,000 individuals participated in a series of online surveys, providing valuable feedback that has guided the design process. Based on the public’s needs and wants, the project team had developed three different design schemes that were presented in the fall of 2023. The public was then asked a number of questions, including identifying their favorite features of the three options as well choosing the design that best reflects Ocean Beach’s culture.

The overwhelming choice was the boldest design concept called “The Braid,” which the project team has since refined as the foundation of the current scheme featuring a fluid, curved layout and unique second-level walking experience that flows from the linear pier structure and provides an elevated 360-degree view of the ocean and the horizon. At the end of the pier, an infinity edge plaza not only provides breathtaking panoramic views but also underscores the community’s strong connection to the ocean and its stewardship.

“We’ve been truly encouraged by the level of participation and enthusiasm from the community throughout this process,” said Kyle Hopkins, Landscape Architect at Civitas, and lead designer of the new pier concept. “Their insights and preferences have played a pivotal role in enhancing our design concepts to better reflect the spirit and character of Ocean Beach.”

The essence of Ocean Beach’s character, deeply rooted in its eclectic culture and love for the ocean, is intricately woven into the new design. Embracing the ethos of placemaking over mere infrastructure, the pier emerges not just as a fishing destination with amenities for anglers, but as a dynamic social hub with a variety of gathering spaces. The innovative design, a modern take on the historic piers unique form, reflects a continuity with Ocean Beach’s traditions and the history of the current pier while offering enhanced amenities and unique experiences. From the surfer’s lounge strategically positioned above the breaking waves to the ADA-accessible walkways inviting all to partake in the ocean’s majesty, every element is a testament to inclusivity and forward-thinking.

“We believe these updated designs reflect the aspirations of the Ocean Beach community,” remarked Scott Jordan, principal at Civitas. “We were extremely pleased with the turn-out and excited to share the preferred concept with the public and continue our collaborative journey towards a revitalized pier.”

Civitas will continue to contribute to design refinement and will prepare for the reveal of a final concept later this year. For more information on the Ocean Beach Pier Renewal project, please visit the project’s website, or contact Rachelle Robison of Agency PR at Additional renderings courtesy of Civitas can be found here.

About Civitas
Founded in 1984, Civitas is a leading urban design firm dedicated to creating healthier and more vibrant cities through innovative planning and design solutions. With a commitment to community engagement and sustainability, Civitas has earned recognition for its transformative projects around the world. For additional information, visit

Rachelle Robison
Agency PR