Murtaza H. Baxamusa, Ph.D., AICP / San Diego UrbDeZine
“Downtown is for people” wrote legendary urban planner Jane Jacobs in 1958, in response to building-centric redevelopment that was a byproduct of politics and economics seeking to rebuild cities across America. During her lifetime, she advocated for citizens to decide what end results they wanted, pioneering concepts like “social capital,” and advocating for planners to steer the rebuilding machinery to serve the community.
Yet, even today, downtown San Diego is being built as a collection of projects, with an approval process that consistently favors developers. Today, the large-block redevelopment is back in full force. The older, affordable housing stock is being demolished, and replaced with luxury high-rises. Economic development agreements are benefiting projects that do not pay living wages to the workforce. And taxpayers across the city are subsiding the mitigation of environmental impacts of downtown projects. [Read more…]