As seen in the Times of San Diego
Envision your ideal neighborhood. Imagine the kinds of businesses there, the entertainment spaces, the homes.
Now, in your perfect neighborhood, how far do you have to drive for essential services? How many miles to the nearest grocery store? Are the children living there walking to school, or do get dropped off in a long line of cars? These are the kinds of questions I like people to think about when they consider urban design and planning.
However, as many people working for the public will admit, activating individuals to imagine real change can be difficult. To do so, the problem that you solve has to create more pain than the fear of change.
As an urban designer and planner looking to change the way people think about their neighborhoods and communities, I know this fear of change is often one of the greatest challenges cities face. Out-of-control urban planning, and a major lack of comfortable, practical walking space, are often just accepted by communities that would benefit most from a change.
In a recent presentation, I spoke to community advocates about how city planning can be a powerful tool for creating safe, healthy spaces for San Diegans to live in. I explained that, like many places around the United States, San Diego communities are facing a crisis of poor planning as residential, commercial, and industrial hubs stretch up the coast connected by busy transportation corridors.