These are interesting times in the housing world. The unprecedented housing crisis statewide in California, and locally in San Diego, is forging unprecedented coalitions among affordable housing advocates, community-based organizations, labor unions and environmentalists. These coalitions are galvanizing in response to the demand from their members to put all options on the table to tackle this crisis that is taking a significant toll on all of us. [Read more…] about Labor, Environment, and Social Justice Groups create coalition to facilitate and advocate for affordable housing in San Diego.
Solving San Diego’s housing crisis is going to require creative thinking and input from many different groups – neighborhood residents, experts in planning, and elected officials, just to name a few. [Read more…] about Series of Events to Address San Diego’s Housing Crisis
Parking was not among the conditions Jane Jacobs said are required to create exuberant diversity in a city’s streets and districts. She did say: “There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people…” And: “The district must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two. These must insure the presence of people who go outdoors on different schedules and are in the place for different purposes, but who are able to use many facilities in common.” [Read more…] about Why Parking Still Matters in America’s Downtowns
Welcome to San Diego!
If you have arrived in the city without money or relatives living here, you are not alone. Whether you are a runaway teenager or a casualty of unemployment, drugs, alcohol or yet another mentally ill individual, you are not alone in San Diego. [Read more…] about Post-Traumatic San Diego – An insider’s guide to surviving demons and hard luck in “America’s finest city”
Dear Pasadena Planning Commissioners,
We’ve come a long way from Pasadena’s 2004 second dwelling unit ordinance that effectively codified irrational NIMBYism in the Zoning Code. The proposed amendment to the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) ordinance before you at the May 24, 2017 hearing represents a significant improvement; it came about as a result of the relaxed standards for ADUs by way of AB 2299 and SB 1069, as well as the passionate testimony of residents and housing advocates in public hearings and community meetings. However, a few points of contention remain – some of the “poison pills” and class-based inequalities carried over from the original ordinance – while other points merit highlighting for this latest public hearing. I ask you to take these comments under consideration as you evaluate the amended ADU ordinance for recommendation to the Pasadena City Council.
From: The American Institute of Architects San Diego Chapter (AIASD)
The Environment + Design Council (E+DC)
RE: Qualcomm Site Developer Selection Process [Read more…] about AIA-SD and E+DC open letter regarding the Soccer City proposal for the Qualcomm Stadium site
Who are the homeless of San Diego? Yearly reports from several agencies reveal tragic glimpses of the humans everyone labels home-less. Homelessness has existed since the beginning of History, so I used to be just as jaded and callous as other people who always assumed the lot would always consist of the stereotypes: criminal offenders, the mentally ill, the infirm, addicts and other varieties of outcasts. [Read more…] about Urban Street Symbols: Hidden Messages in the Metropolis
I recently had a client ask me to look at a local park disfigured by freeway construction bifurcating the neighborhood and cutting residents off from this very expensive and valuable amenity. Environmental problems. Social problems. Economic problems. Could anything be done? What are best practices today? [Read more…] about Don’t listen to Mark Twain – freeway caps gaining traction
One of the most important efforts we can take to protect our environment is one that is relatively unheard of: a shift in the collective diet of Americans. A plethora of studies have shown that livestock production negatively impacts the environment, but a new study shows that beef in particular may be doing the most damage. When compared to pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs it was found that beef production requires 28 times more land, 11 times more water, and produced 5 times more emissions. Eliminating or reducing our intake of red meat would be healthier for the planet and our bodies and it’s up to the consumer to make that choice. [Read more…] about 6 Ways Beef Consumption Harms the Planet and Your Health
Anybody remember this movie? Based on a book by Philip Wylie, it started with the thoughtful gaze of astronomers using science and telescope technology to protect us. The trouble was, they observed a planet (Zyra?) hurtling towards us and presaging the impending doom of all on earth. Lucky for us, the collision that I have been observing is much less likely to wipe out all the dinosaurs or destroy the planet. (Don’t doubt that there are still dinosaurs – they just walk and talk like mammalians.) [Read more…] about When Worlds Collide (air quality) – Observations from the Brownfield Trenches