With San Diego's population booming, the theory of "smart growth" is being talked about with increased frequency. Here the Daily Transcript explores how elements of smart growth are being used throughout the county, reviews the "City of Villages" strategic plan and finds out how smart growth is financed in specific cases. A look at these topics and more is examined by area of the county:
San Diegans are bringing clarity to the planning concept of smart growth by immersing themselves in the rapidly growing downtown residential "smart living" lifestyle.
Perhaps you have experienced a moment when, as you drive about the city, you come across a commercial district where you feel compelled to park, get out of your car and stroll around. If so, chances are you have stumbled across an urban village, according to local architect Allard Jansen, a major proponent of the New Urbanism design philosophy that underlies the City of Villages development concept proposed by the city of San Diego.
When stuck in freeway gridlock, precious hours of wasted time quickly add up. Imagine allowing an additional hour of sleep in the morning and extra time to play with the kids or the dog in the afternoon. Picture walking or biking home from work, rather than driving, and then enjoying a leisurely walk to the store, waterfront, a favorite restaurant or the theater.
With the restart of construction on the Padres ballpark, downtown San Diego is embarking on a new phase of its "smart growth" path -- a path that began in the late 1970s with the construction of Seaport Village and Horton Plaza and the revitalization of the Gaslamp Quarter, and continues today with the new ballpark and 26 blocks of redevelopment around it.
A regional comprehensive plan. To some, it's a framework to accommodate growth, limit sprawl and preserve resources. To others, it's a regional mandate that dictates how cities should use their land. To some, it has great significance. To others, it seems duplicative of other regional efforts.
Downtown San Diego is enjoying a revival. Thousands of new residential units have been built or are under construction. And the urban resident this housing accommodates should mean customers for more diverse merchant offerings, riders for transit and active safe streets. However, simply increasing the housing count doesn't ensure "smart growth" in San Diego's downtown.