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 San Diego Region will struggle in every neighborhood to accommodate the population growth forecasted by SANDAG – as many as a million new residents by 2050. San Diego already has a widely-recognized housing shortage that results in major annual price increases and undermines the city’s climate action plan as commuters go farther afield in search of affordability. The problem will only get worse unless we take bold steps to sensibly accommodate this inevitable growth. [Read more…] about Support the Morena Corridor Specific Plan
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 revised Pinnacle project for 11th & Broadway is in design review at Civic San Diego. The main difference seems to be that the developer now proposes to relocate (by 50′) the historically designated Hamilton Apartments rather than demolish them as had been previously approved by the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) in 2012. An act of enlightenment and altruism, or an act pragmatism (i.e. to avoid litigation or utilize tax credits)? The Civic San Diego staff report doesn’t say. In any case, preserving historical resources and adaptively reusing existing structures can only be a good thing for downtown’s diversities of architecture, people, and uses. The staff report to the Civic San Diego Real Estate Committee summarizes the project: [Read more…] about Revised 11th & Broadway Pinnacle Project in Design Review – San Diego
A recent article by John Karras, founder of consulting firm UrbanSCALE, offered “12 Strategies That Will Transform Your City’s Downtown.” The article was a good selection of the many revitalization strategies, and addressed some important sticking points, e.g., transitioning from auto-orientation and healing the gashes created by the the last half century of urban freeway construction. One or two of the strategies are still-controversial or not widely accepted, e.g., eliminating minimum parking requirements (even imposing maximum parking restrictions), which made the article even more of a worthwhile read. Moreover, [Read more…] about How San Diego’s Downtown Scores on 12 Point ‘Vibrant Downtown Strategies’ Test
In this age of planning emphasis on “smart growth,” “new urbanism,” “transit oriented development,” “infill development” and so on, density and proximity to transit corridors sometimes overshadow all other considerations. Zoning and Community plans years in the making, with wide participation, are now being viewed by some property owners and city officials as obsolete and vulnerable. Local residents are increasingly resentful as they experience frontal assaults to the scale and character of their neighborhoods – the essence of how they identify with their neighborhoods. [Read more…] about Three Reasons Neighborhood Identity is Paramount in Smart Growth
These days, a lot of projects are crashing through the gates of community plans and dashing existing neighborhood character under the banners of smart growth or transit oriented development. [Read more…] about 10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth