Making San Diego an even better place to live and workReal Estate Thursday, October 29th, 2015
It’s undeniable. San Diego is a great city. The eighth largest city in the U.S., San Diego is prized for the best weather in the U.S., a splendid waterfront, funky neighborhoods and an all-around great place to call home. But even the best can be better, and an imaginative program called Imagine Downtown is at work accomplishing just that.
Launched two years ago, the Downtown San Diego Partnership embarked upon an ambitious plan to create a vision plan for the city and enlisted an outreach program to engage 6,000 San Diegans in compiling a wish list to revitalize San Diego. The strategic plan was implemented in 2013, and now two years later, many steps have already been undertaken to “make it happen.”
The plan focuses on five areas containing more than 200 objectives and initiatives. We don’t have room here to list all the goings-on, but can highlight an accomplishment in each of these areas.
Build Your Business: Attracting businesses to downtown San Diego was viewed as an important economic energizer. The group was aware of the impact these new businesses might have on every aspect of life in San Diego. In only two years, new tenants have been encouraged to move on down, with Bumble Bee Foods, Kleinfelder, AECOM, Cypress Insurance, Southwest Strategies and Rev.com signing on. Many new businesses are appreciated, but a special welcome mat has been extended to tech startups, digital marketing and cybersecurity firms, in an attempt to create an innovation hub.
Made to Move: Great cities make it easy to get around so all their great offerings can be easily accessed. To facilitate this, Imagine has partnered with Civic San Diego to develop a proposal for an on-demand circulatory system to move folks around downtown; the launch is scheduled for summer 2016. Other initiatives include offering discount transit passes to encourage the use of public transit, the expansion of car sharing programs, installation of bike racks and a real-time parking app.
Create the Vibe: Revving up the arts scene is a major facet of Imagine, both for residents and visitors. This includes the design of pocket parks to create gathering spots, a tree-lighting program, and the creation of wonderful events throughout the year like Archtoberfest, Chairs in Squares, Light Up the Night and Comic-Con. Look for lots of new events to be happening all around town.
Make Your Place: The events are great but the bulwarks of our town are its distinct residential neighborhoods. Keeping them safe and looking great are priorities. Initiatives include volunteer events to swell community pride and involvement, efforts to end homelessness, and care of downtown parks and public spaces. Everyone can become involved.
And lastly, Collaborate: To accomplish all of the above, we need to work together. Imagine has started a dialogue with communities and plans an urban symposium in spring to get people to work together to make this truly ambitious and visionary plan a reality. You can surely find some way to offer your talents in the effort to make the eighth largest city the No. 1 place to live and work in the U.S.
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