After months of discussion and several revisions, the Downtown Mobility Plan goes to the San Diego City Council on June 21st. The plan aims to transform the street grid to an integrated urban network for all including motorists, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians. Downtown’s workforce and residential populations are projected to more than double within twenty years and numerous buildings are currently under construction. [Read more…] about Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan – to Council June 21st
“Moving to the city,” “live-work-play,” and “sharing economy” – these are some of the soundbites of the new generation. As some metro areas compete to recruit and capitalize on the next workforce, are they overlooking or even sacrificing sound planning principals that focus on the long term retention of the next wave? [Read more…] about Should we plan for families in the ‘new’ city?
At first glance, the recent East Village Convadium proposal has many appealing qualities: it is an attractive, modern complex with many interesting features. However, the Charger’s owners hope to capitalize on the recent trend in California and use the ballot initiative process to “expedite” California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, and for good reason. The flash and hype of the ballot initiative covers many significant, unanswered questions about potential cost overruns and environmental impacts that may cost San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. [Read more…] about A Football Stadium in East Village? Not so Fast
Downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza Park expansion opened last week . . . more or less. Construction is not quite complete. San Diego’s downtown (at least post-WWII downtown) has thus far lacked a vibrant town square like San Francisco’s Union Square or similar successful plazas in other major cities. This major expansion of the small historic plaza is intended to fill the bill. The design team for Horton Plaza Park included Walker Macy | Landscape Architecture, the same firm that designed Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. Features include cafe-style tables and chairs, amphitheater-style steps / bleachers, and pillars / obelisks that double as lighting for events. There’s a Starbucks, Sloan’s Ice Cream, Arts Tix Kiosk, and a yet to be named vendor all built into the park. [Read more…] about Is San Diego’s Horton Plaza Park Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square 2.0?
San Francisco has 23,000 metered parking spaces and sets prices using complex “demand-responsive rate adjustments.” Around SF City Hall, for example, hourly rates vary by time of day and block by block – up to $5.25 midweek and as low as $.25 on weekends. In San Diego, despite the growing population and a tightening supply, many locals still expect free parking – especially in beach communities. San Diego currently has about 5,700 metered spaces mostly charging a top rate of $1.25 per hour. Nearly all the metered spaces are in Uptown and Downtown where parking is a hot topic at neighborhood meetings. [Read more…] about Parking Management: San Diego Style (Part Two)
On the subject of a potential downtown San Diego East Village NFL stadium, some proponents have asserted that Indianapolis’s downtown Lucas Oil Stadium was a catalyst for redevelopment and revitalization. I recalled that Walter Scott Chambers III, urban planning wonk and owner of the blog Great Streets San Diego, had moved to Indianapolis. Ironically, his last article in that wonderful but now-dormant blog, was entitled 5 Key Indicators That Your City Is Not A World Class City. Number 4 of the 5 was “It has a Civic Center, a Sports Multi-Complex, an Arts District, an Entertainment District (any or all of the these).” Anyway, I reached out to him by email to see what he thought of the use of Lucas Oil Stadium as a shining example of an NFL stadium catalyst for downtown revitalization (nevermind that East Village is already “revitalizing” at boom-times speed without another stadium). Here’s what Walt said, sans the niceties at the beginning and the end of his email: [Read more…] about Is Indianapolis a good comparison for a San Diego Charger downtown stadium?
By Howard Blackson and Don Leichtling
– North Park is one of San Diego’s finest communities. It has many distinctive neighborhoods, with most containing block after block of beautiful bungalows of all varieties. It contains award winning schools, and every quarter-mile or so, neighborhood centers that contain great restaurants, small shops, brew pubs, and corner markets. Hipsters, elderly, and families with kids love living in North Park because it is already both walkable and diverse. [Read more…] about North Park Community Plan Update – We Can Do Better by Working Together
Over 120 cities and counties in California have a climate action plan either completed or in the pipeline. As cities develop these plans and initiatives to address climate change, it is important to emphasize that social equity is integrated within environmental policies. The vulnerabilities, resilience and sustainability of the human ecosystem are as much determined by diversity and inter-dependence as its natural counterpart. As Pope Francis said in Laudato Sí, “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” [Read more…] about Why climate change action cannot succeed without social equity
California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response. We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers.
I believe answers to meet San Diego’s housing demand are found in the following two-tier approach: [Read more…] about Its not Smart Growth… It’s Called Avoiding a Housing Crisis
A group of San Diego East Village (downtown) stakeholders, academics, and design professionals, including yours truly, have released a “white paper” proposing a vision for the area of high tech and creative businesses anchored by a new satellite campus of a major university. The group will hold a community workshop on March 5, 2016 (Saturday) at 9 AM at the New School of Architecture. [Read more…] about Non-stadium alternative vision for East Village San Diego + community workshop