The boulevard is an important street form that helps define a city's identity. It has always been a place of motion, excitement, and life. However, over time forms and meanings of boulevards have been shaped by the interplay between dominant ideas in city policies, planning ideals, and economic circumstances. This thesis seeks to establish a new planning tool that can be used for boulevard revitalization within San Diego as well as other cities within the United States. The vitality of a city is linked to the design of its boulevards; for they support the majority of financial and residential activity. This thesis proposes a new boulevard type -- the 'Contemporary Boulevard' which emphasizes the planning ideology of livable streets. The thesis examines the boulevard's overall form and function and its importance in connecting nodes of activity along axial thoroughfares based on the characteristics of this proposed boulevard type. Focusing on eight boulevards in the San Diego metropolitan area, this thesis looks specifically at the importance of the boulevard's design and the role boulevards play in the urban environment. Each of the San Diego area boulevards was studied through historical research and visual observations conducted along a one to four block segment. These observations were then analyzed using criteria defined by characteristics of the proposed new boulevard type -- the 'Contemporary Boulevard' -- especially in the terms of livability and usability. Each of the San Diego area boulevards was found to have important historical significance, but many were designed primarily as auto-oriented thoroughfares and lack essential design characteristics necessary to contribute to successful urban environments. Several of the boulevards, including El Cajon Boulevard and La Jolla Boulevard have recently experienced successful revitalization projects. There remain however many political and economic challenges to overcome in order to improve San Diego's boulevards and transform them into successful urban environments that support multimodal movement and active pedestrian realms.