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Alhambra Landscaping Case Study

December 27th, 2023


Bridging the East Sacramento and Midtown communities, Alhambra has always been an excellent location to meet and connect with colleagues, friends and family. The walkable district enables many community members to complete their errands on foot, discover fantastic restaurants to eat, find fun places to explore, and is conveniently close to workplaces such as The Cannery and major health systems such as UC Davis, Sutter Health & Dignity Health. Click here to learn more about the Alhambra District and discover local business in the area. 

However, it was recognized that the Alhambra Corridor lacked connectivity, landscaping and art — core qualities that bring vibrancy to a district . The Alhambra Landscaping Plan effort, led by Midtown Association, aimed to revitalize the aging Alhambra corridor on Alhambra Blvd. between J and R Streets, seeking to enhance its distinct character and transform it into a more inviting and active pedestrian thoroughfare. 

Our Strategy

In 2018, Midtown Association went through an extensive branding effort with the Honey Agency to create an identity for the corridor. District goals outlined in the branding centered around bridging the East Sacramento and Midtown communities to promote Alhambra as a great place to eat, play, shop, work and most importantly, walk. 

The branding effort included the creation of the Walk Alhambra brand, the Alhambra logo, and the main brand color – a vibrant purple. On September 13, 2018 Midtown Association hosted a launch event to kick-off the “Walk Alhambra” initiative to promote active transportation and highlight the effort to brand the Alhambra corridor. Chalk stencils were strategically installed at 20 key locations along Alhambra Blvd highlighting the different amenities. The walk concluded at the newly installed Alhambra mural painted by local artist Jeremy Stanger

Midtown Association staff install the “Walk Alhambra” chalk stencils for the Walk Alhambra event.

The eye-catching Alhambra mural, located at 3101 Folsom Blvd, was installed in 2018 by Jeremy Stanger, following the branding collaboration and logo design by Honey Agency.

Through the branding effort it was recognized that the corridor lacked connectivity and could benefit from adding landscaping and placemaking improvements to enliven the corridor and restore some of the core qualities of Alhambra.

In 2018 Midtown Association partnered with local design firm ATLAS Lab Inc. to craft a comprehensive master plan aimed at creating a more inviting and active pedestrian thoroughfare, and included recommendations for art-based placemaking, landscape improvements, and mobility infrastructure. The process involved a thorough analysis of the corridor, including site visits and a detailed infrastructure inventory. To ensure the plan aligned with the community’s needs and desires, extensive stakeholder engagement took place. This involved workshops and direct conversations with those who know Alhambra best. 

ATLAS Lab hosted a “Listening Session” with the Midtown Association and Alhambra committee to gather insights and recommendations. The committee shared their ideas through post-it note feedback on large-scale printed out site plans.

In this first phase of the Alhambra Landscaping Project, the Midtown Association strategically prioritized elements deemed most important by stakeholders, as identified during our initial stakeholder listening session. 

To support those enhancements, Midtown Association secured $87K in funding from supporters including Mayor Darrell Steinberg, former Councilmember Jeff Harris, Sacramento Kings, SMUD, Midtown Association, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. In 2023, $71K was utilized for the plan’s execution, with $16K allocated for maintenance over the next 3-5 years.

The Results

In 2023, Midtown Association transformed plans into reality, achieving significant milestones. These accomplishments include:

  • The captivating mural by artist Lena McCarthy at 1400 Alhambra Blvd. adding artistic charm to the area
  • An exciting mural in collaboration with the Sacramento Kings on the east facing wall of 3001 L Street celebrating the “Light the Beam” movement. The mural was designed by Ryan Brijs on the Sacramento Kings design team and installed by artist Jeremy Stanger
  • Eight city-owned utility boxes along Alhambra Blvd. were adorned with vibrant art wraps, celebrating the corridors’ unique history and vibrancy
  • 24 branded bright purple bike racks at six locations were installed along the corridor promoting active transportation
  • Installation of 26 large planters filled with drought resistant flora
Discover eight art-wrapped utility boxes along Alhambra Blvd:

The Alhambra Landscaping plan included the installment of two new murals, one by artist Lena McCarthy at 1400 Alhambra Blvd and another in partnership with the Sacramento Kings and installed by Jeremy Stanger at 3001 L Street:


Along Alhambra Blvd.  visitors can find 26 large greenery-filled planters and 24 bright purple Alhambra branded bike racks. In early 2024, brackets are being installed to provide extra support for the planters.

Media & Communications

Media Segments:

A celebratory planting session with key partners and media was planned to capstone the Alhambra Landscaping beatification project.

Newsletter Link: September Newsletter

Social Media:

Walk Alhambra on Alhambra Blvd. between J and R streets to discover all the new improvements including new murals, bike racks, art-wrapped utility boxes, and planters.