City planning tends to be a long range, expensive approach to transforming cities, with a greater focus on the creation of planning documents versus the implementation of projects. While there is no argument that regional and transportation planning has led to a new wave of urban living throughout the country, on a localized level, placemaking offers neighborhood leaders a greater opportunity to engage the public, envision tangible projects and work together to enhance their surroundings.
When The Media Arts Center of San Diego expanded their operations on El Cajon Boulevard in 2012, they launched an initiative called Take Back the Alley to transform their back parking lot into a gathering place. This catalytic placemaking initiative continued forward on an annual basis with greater support from the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association as well as local and corporate volunteers to expand into the alley to support business activity and residential issues. [Read more…]