Where to Walk or Just Relax in USC Village’s Great Outdoors

The complex’s park-like spaces are pedestrian-friendly and perfect for relaxing.

September 25, 2017 Ron Mackovich-Rodriguez


USC Village’s broad paseos converge at the tree-lined Central Piazza at the core of the complex. The patterned red bricks and concrete paving in the plaza, which cover almost the area of a football field, echo the design of the space’s sister site, Hahn Plaza. The park-like environment offers up decisions: walk awhile, or sip a cup of coffee?

As visitors stroll from Fernow and McMaster Plaza down Holoman Way, they look up at USC Village’s facades through a leafy filter. About 390 trees now grow at USC Village, including a 30-foot-tall California live oak that provides a serene backdrop for the plaza’s sculpture of Hecuba. The complex’s camphor trees are a member of the laurel family, so they have pungent-smelling leaves. Its Arbutus marina, or strawberry, trees display a reddish-hued bark. The trees can survive with relatively little water. Landscaping meets California’s green building codes, with weather stations and flow sensors to irrigate efficiently, contributing to sustainability. An anemometer mounted on a lamppost near Fubon Fountain measures wind speed and automatically adjusts the height of the fountain’s jets to conserve water, keeping it from spraying outside the fountain—or onto pedestrians.

Along Jefferson Boulevard, walkers will now find added signal lights. They’ll also encounter scramble crosswalks at the intersections of Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard and McClintock Street. These lights stop all vehicle traffic so pedestrians can walk across or diagonally through the intersection. Wider sidewalks accommodate the heavier foot traffic around USC Village, too. Jefferson Boulevard street parking in front of USC Village has been eliminated and replaced with bike lanes. Bike lanes are now available on all the streets bordering the complex.