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.”
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
The photo above shows how the historic Cabrillo Bridge was conceptualized to serve as the grand and ceremonial entrance to Balboa Park. The bridge was designed by Bertram Goodhue for Panama California Exposition of 1915. It has fulfilled its concept admirably. However, a bypass bridge will soon mar the bridge in such as way that defeats the intended effect of the design, i.e., the lone elegant arched viaduct entrance into the park. [Read more…] about What San Diego will soon mar for a parking garage
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
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
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.
Articles and studies from newspapers to academic journals warn the public against the havoc and devastation caused by rent control ordinances. However, it is not tenants and community based organizations that are funding these articles and studies, it is real estate investors, developers, and corporate apartment owner associations. For decades, tenants and community based organizations across California have worked tirelessly to enact rent control ordinances to decrease displacement and protect the rights and dignity of working families, the elderly, and long-term tenants. Tenant advocates continue to direct their limited resources to local initiatives and ballot measures, not to fund studies, articles, and lawsuits. [Read more…] about Demystifying Rent Control
Due to today’s housing crisis, it seems west coast cities are taking on Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) opposition that has stymied new projects and developments via polarizing and protracted public processes. These ‘no-growth’ individuals group together out of an innate fear of change to stop planned development intended to benefit their larger community. In my hometown of San Diego, these polarizing projects range from bicycle lanes, stadiums, house rentals, and to building more homes to address our housing crisis. Their innate ‘fear of change’ response to anything new creates an ethical challenge for every major city trying to build housing or transit. [Read more…] about How to Program Social Equity into Planning Sustainable Communities
The idea for grand pedestrian routes through downtown San Diego is not new. In 1908, John Nolen famously had vision of a Promenade from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay along what is now Cedar Street. Just imagine how that would be today if it had been implemented 100 years ago, with the beautiful County Administration Building at the bottom of the gentle hill from Park to Bay. Sometimes I think ‘so many opportunities lost’ should be San Diego’s motto.
But, in the fertile minds of planners, this idea hasn’t died. Now, they are being called Green Streets, and six are planned for downtown. [Read more…] about A New Grand Pedestrian Promenade Through Downtown San Diego?