Light is not often the first thing that one thinks of when considering the built environment, but in fact, as to the photographer, light is a primary ingredient to the success of any site design. In contrast to other professions that utilize light, the impact of light on the built environment is constantly in flux. In its complexity there are three types of light: continuous, absorptive and emissive. In the science of the light spectrum, the fact is that light behaves like a wave and is defined by its wavelength frequency. Simply put, light of different wavelengths is perceived as different colors. [Read more…] about How the Spectrum of Light can be used in Landscape Architecture
At last week’s State of the City address, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer enthusiastically stated, “I want to radically overhaul the system itself. The bureaucracy has been set up to empower anti-housing forces that delay or deny projects at every turn… We need to build more housing near employment centers and transit.”
Her face smudged with grime, eyes distant, unfocused not bitter, she’s homeless just staring out the window trying to get warm in the early morning.
To those who are homeless, there are a few simple assumptions we accept: [Read more…] about On Rapid Re-Housing the Homeless in San Diego
With a new Governor, California’s next legislative session with likely look for a different approach to addressing the incessant affordable housing crisis in the state. The carrots-and-sticks approach in the last couple of years has yielded new statewide revenues for homeless and affordable housing and has made local cities more accountable in their housing production. [Read more…] about How the state can address California’s housing crisis
This title is a broad and a difficult question but it is one that creatives are forced to face every time they take on a new project. There is always excitement and fear when the canvas is blank and the fewer imposed constraints there are the more challenging it is. My colleague Donna Barry and I, both Design Directors in our respective Gensler offices, were invited to present and moderate a workshop that we entitled ‘Bring It’ at a recent regional firm conference. [Read more…] about Bring It! How to bring your best design to every project every time?
The presence of an urban research university has been conventionally regarded as the foundation for economic growth of any large city. It is “the heart of the story” for the fortune of successful high-tech regions. It is a “key actor” in revitalization of urban communities. It is “one of the most powerful engines” that drive innovation in the knowledge economy. And so on. With such a vital role, an institution of higher learning is not just cultivating scholarship and skills in the next generation of the workforce, but nurturing the city itself through intellectual, economic and cultural osmosis. [Read more…] about University expansions create opportunity for community benefits
Achieving Housing Choice and Mobility in the Voucher Program: Recommendations for the Administration is in the latest edition of the American Bar Association Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law (Vol. 27-1).
The article recognizes the Housing Choice Voucher Program as vital to helping homeless individuals and low-income families’ overcome barriers to housing stability, and a powerful tool to deconcentrate poverty and decrease racial segregation in our nation’s communities. While acknowledging the program’s potential to improve individual lives, families, and communities, the article discusses the program’s failure to meet its housing and community goals: [Read more…] about San Diego in National Spotlight: City’s Failure to Prohibit Section 8 Discrimination Hurts Homeless Veterans
Today, San Diego is failing to accommodate our growth demands. Due to NIMBY (people who oppose any new building with a “Not In My Backyard” attitude) pressure and fear, only downtown towers and greenfield sprawl sites are far enough away from them to secure any development permits. And these aren’t our best places to allow for enough attainable or affordable housing. Big, heavy downtown towers are very expensive. But so are sprawling subdivision roads, fire stations, community centers, parks, and new housing construction costs. Those subdivisions are far away from jobs, necessitate a car for every daily need. Suburbia encumbers agriculture lands and are at great wildfire risk. But, that’s mostly what we have available to us to build the housing we need to accommodate for the next 1.3 million people by 2050 (SANDAG). [Read more…] about It’s Time to Take the Keys Away from Granddad
San Diego does not have a homeless problem, it has a housing bed inventory problem in comparison to other large cities. The region’s homeless as a percentage of the total population is 12th in the nation, and the five-year trend is relatively flat when including both sheltered and unsheltered homeless. Yet, despite the public outcry, there are still about five thousand unsheltered homeless sleeping on our streets, sidewalks, canyons, riverbeds, parks and open spaces. [Read more…] about ‘America’s Finest City’ is Worst in Nation in Housing the Homeless
Building Industry Association (BIA) CEO Borre Winckel and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3, a non-profit that advocates sustainable urban planning in San Diego) President Kathleen Ferrier recently debated the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside (SOS) ballot initiative. The initiative was described by East County Magazine as follows:
If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.
The email exchange contained a passionate and informative conversation with directly conflicting ideas about how the measure might impact development, housing, and the environment in San Diego County.