We think of “sustainability” as a new idea, a concept underlying our hoped-for environmental stewardship of the planet, but as Poor Richard first voiced a related concept at the beginning of our national existence, it really isn’t a new idea at all. I’m not going to use this opportunity to go tree-hugger on you (although it’s not a role foreign to me), but I do want to highlight how an unused asset of the City’s could be turned into a brilliant community treasure. Sadly, this is an asset the City was prepared to waste. [Read more…] about Innovative Community Bike Center coming to San Diego in . . .
A fresh pulpo (octopus) tostada is exotic enough to take anyone’s palette on a journey. I recently had the opportunity to join a group of 15 young land use professionals from San Diego for a day of discovery and delight in our sister city, Tijuana, Mexico, on a hot, dry August afternoon. It begins with the new pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro, which is as sterile and contrasting to the vibrant life beyond as it gets. The long walk down the crossing feels like a transformation, one that is deeply experiential. Once on ‘the other side’, it is clear that a revitalization is underway. There dust in the air from all the construction, as a new wave of entrepreneurs look to transform this young city through creative mixed-use projects, design and cuisine. [Read more…] about Three great things happening now in downtown Tijuana, Baja California
Welcome back to the Island of Utopia! Part I began the first installment of a three-article series commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the publishing of St. Thomas More’s classic book, Utopia. In Part I, the word “Utopia” was defined and several of the key geographic features of More’s fictional Island of Utopia were described. In Part II, we’ll delve into the some of the urban design characteristics of Utopian cities. [Read more…] about Anecdotes on the Urban Design of Utopia: Part II of III of the Utopia 500th Anniversary Series
In an effort to address our nation’s increasing levels of segregation, the Obama Administration implemented a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Final Rule that changed the way 23 metropolitan areas issued vouchers to low-income tenants. The goal was simple: improve the health of low-income families by increasing access to lower poverty and higher opportunity areas. [Read more…] about Trump’s Suspension of Obama’s De-Segregation Policy Impacts San Diego Housing Vouchers
In the wake of the 2011 demise of California’s 400 redevelopment agencies, cities, developers, and institutions are all struggling to find new ways to fund the construction and maintenance of essential infrastructure and other public buildings and facilities. A San Francisco official recently complained to me that there are 40,000 dwelling units entitled in the city that aren’t being built. He noted a variety of reasons, but a chief one for large developments is the need for massive unfunded up-front investments in infrastructure. This includes projects like Treasure Island, Park Merced, Pier 70, and Hunters Point/Candlestick. [Read more…] about Show me the Money: Financing Public Facilities in the Age of Scarcity
In a recent article Tim Jorgensen, an Associate Professor of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University, wrote about the risks of getting cancer from flying in jet airplanes. According to Professor Jorgensen, the primary health risk comes from exposure to cosmic radiation. Sounds like scary stuff. He wrote about one particularly frequent flyer (a Mr. Stuker), who had amassed some 18 million miles of air travel (imagine the upgrades!): [Read more…] about Risky Business – brownfield development in need of reasonable health risk standards
Soccer? Football? Fútbol? While there may not be universal consensus on what to call the sport, I think most can agree that it has become a very popular sport in America. I previously wrote an article called Soccer and Park Planning from my perspective both as a soccer fan and a planner. It seems appropriate now to do a sequel given the continued “soccerization” of land use across cities in the U.S. Essentially, I am referring to the dedication of an increasing amount of land/space for soccer, and the development of additional facilities for both players and fans, including soccer fields and futsal courts at parks as well as soccer-specific stadiums for professional teams. [Read more…] about Soccerization of Land Use
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?
You can look at commercial district revitalization in two ways: The first way, which is the common way, and unfortunately not the best way, is to hatch a scheme to get rid of everything that is under-performing and replace it with something else. Bulldoze it, and start over with a blank slate. This approach to economic revitalization is the cornerstone of many well-intentioned plans — the wholesale replacement of entire existing commercial ecosystems. It is also an approach that values typical male attributes: valuing big, valuing new, valuing the deal. This is truly a shame since these districts often have wonderful businesses, owned by locals, which serve as non-traditional anchors pulling from wide trade areas. [Read more…] about What’s so feminine about good revitalization of a commercial district?
Mayor Garcetti said: “We need money to build housing for the homeless.”
Voters said: “Here is $1.2 billion for housing the homeless.” (November bond issue.)
Mayor Garcetti said: “We need money to provide services for the homeless.”
Voters said: “Okay, we will tax ourselves a one quarter percent sales tax, so that you can provide needed services for homeless.” [Read more…] about LA’s new homeless money: What Garcetti could learn from Bradley and de Blasio