Our Greater San Diego Vision-Full Report

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Your Vision. Our Future. Proudly facilitating Our Greater San Diego Vision on behalf of the region’s residents.

Our Greater San Diego Vision July 2012 If there is a single word that describes the San Diego region, it is “paradise.” And this paradise is our home. We love this place and want to protect it for future generations. Welcome to Your Vision, presented here as Our Greater San Diego Vision, which is both a unique process and a priceless outcome. The process was designed to be big – to span the entire region, to engage more people than had ever been engaged, and to weave together all the issues that impact our quality of life. The product is a framework for further conversations to inform future planning. It is not a plan. Our Greater San Diego Vision was created out of a desire to capture the community’s vision for the future of the region – through unprecedented engagement that involved more than 30,000 people. San Diegans’ input from the very beginning ensured that this would be the people’s vision and that it would speak to what all of us care about most. This vision is about preserving the best of the past and protecting all that’s good today, while creating an even better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren. A massive effort spanning three years began with an in-depth study to determine our collective hopes and dreams, our worries and fears – our values. Those values pointed to four areas that are critical for a bright future – jobs and wages, community and cultural amenities, housing/transportation and cost of living, and life-long learning – Work, Enjoy, Live and Learn. The four areas provided a framework for subject-matter experts to flesh out issues, and then for the public to choose among reasonable alternatives. Thirty thousand people voiced their choices and we heard them. We learned that our collective vision for the future is a San Diego region where: •

A prosperous economy provides a broad range of job opportunities.

Housing options match what people want and can afford.

A quality learning environment effectively prepares people for life.

Neighborhoods are safe, vibrant and convenient centers of community life, arts and culture.

Nature is accessible, connected and protected for people to enjoy.

Convenient transportation choices are available for people to go where they want.

Trusted regional leadership, collaboration and participation create a future that fulfills people’s hopes and dreams.

Our Greater San Diego Vision is a blueprint, a map, and it is much more. It weaves together aspiration – seeing what tomorrow could and should be – and inspiration – the excitement and energy to make that tomorrow real. This is just the start. From here, together, we must act. The San Diego Foundation Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement will steward the Vision and help move the region forward by convening stakeholders, informing decisions, engaging people, and impacting the evolution of this paradise we call our home. Start here, and look to the future with hope and with commitment. Start with this shared vision – Our Greater San Diego Vision – a process and a product, and the first step in a journey.

Bill Geppert Chair, Our Greater San Diego Vision

Jennifer Adams-Brooks Chair, The San Diego Foundation Board of Governors

Bob Kelly President and CEO, The San Diego Foundation

Table of Contents 1

Why is Our Greater San Diego Vision Necessary?....................................3


The Visioning Process............................................................................................9


San Diegans Make Choices About Their Future..................................... 23


Our Greater San Diego Vision...........................................................................37


Supporting the Vision’s Goals.......................................................................... 43


Vision Forward........................................................................................................ 55

Chula Vista

Tribal Nations Santee

San Diego Lemon Grove




Imperial Beach Solana Beach

Coronado Encinitas


Del Mar

San Marcos

Vista El Cajon

La Mesa

Unincorporated Communities

Residents throughout this great region have deep pride of affiliation with and commitment to their local communities. While many of us may first identify with a particular city, such as Oceanside or El Cajon, this Vision seeks to unify our voices and therefore unify our strengths as San Diegans. Only then can it be OUR Greater San Diego Vision.

National City

San Diego County is a vast area of more than 4,500 square miles, larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The region is home to more than three million people and includes eighteen individual municipalities, each currently conducting its own planning and provision of services. The county also contains eighteen Native American tribal reservations, more than any other county in the nation.


why is Our Greater

San Diego Vision

NECESSARY? A Great Place to Live Although the residents of the San Diego region live in a diversity of neighborhoods and cities, we have much in common. One thing is for sure, we all love this place. We are all residents of a larger region, and we rise or fall together. Bigger than any one neighborhood, bigger than any one city, the region demands an all-encompassing perspective to effectively cultivate and protect the things we want most. This area has a long history of multiculturalism. Native tribes inhabited the region well before the arrival of the earliest Spanish missionaries and European settlers. After the Mexican War of Independence, the San Diego region became part of Mexico, from 1821 until 1848, when it was annexed by the United States following the Mexican-American War. Our history created a multinational culture that has continued, in part, due to the region’s immediate proximity to the communities of Baja California. More recent immigration has also contributed to the multicultural nature of the region. Today, almost one-third of San Diegans are Hispanic or Latino, with substantial representation from Asian, African-American, and other ethnic groups. The minority population is expected to continue to grow, becoming the majority as soon as 2020.1


San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

The San Diego region boasts a mild, Mediterranean-like climate and extraordinary natural beauty. Most of the population lives near the coast, where there are beautiful beaches and bays, along with a naturally protected port. Rivers, canyons, hills, and mesas connect the coast to inland mountains, and to the deserts beyond.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 1 Why is Our Greater San Diego Vision Necessary?

credit: UC SanDiego Publications

The San Diego region today benefits from a strong, vibrant and diverse economic base largely as a result of its past. After World War II, the region became a major support center for the U.S. military providing a presence in the Pacific. The military continues to be a significant source of economic strength. San Diego’s weather and natural assets have also made it a major tourist destination. Additionally, 150,000 manufacturing jobs in Baja California, Mexico, are tied to companies headquartered in the San Diego region. More recently, investments in universities, research institutions, and other hightech industry catalysts have created an economic powerhouse in the advanced technology industries.

Growing Population Pressure Of the planet’s seven billion inhabitants, more than half now live in urban areas, and that is expected to increase to 7 in 10 people living in urban areas by 2050.2 Whether regional issues are environmental, economic or infrastructure-related, the true boundaries of today’s urban issues extend beyond the immediate neighborhood or municipality, making regional thinking and cooperation imperative.

San Diego County is expected to grow by 1.3 million people by 2050.

3.1 million Today’s population

4.4 million 2050 population

63% of new growth is estimated to be our own children and grandchildren.

The San Diego region’s population growth is anticipated to continue. The county grew from around 35,000 people in 1900 to more than 3,000,000 today. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the region’s metropolitan planning organization, projects the region will grow by another 1.3 million people by 2050. Most of this growth (63%) will be our own children and grandchildren rather than those moving into the area. Growth is coming because the region is a great place to live and will continue to be unless the region’s quality of life deteriorates significantly. If we decrease the quality of life to the point that we stop growth, it will be our own families who suffer or who are forced to move somewhere else.

Source: U.S. Census and SANDAG


Our Greater San Diego Vision


World Health Organization. “Urban Population Growth.” http://bit.ly/p10Akz.

CHAPTER 1 Why is Our Greater San Diego Vision Necessary?

Our Shared History of Planning and Visioning The San Diego region was formed by past visionaries who brought residents and public and private sectors together. Shortly after the turn of the last century, Harvard architect John Nolen was engaged to plan San Diego’s future. The 1908 Nolen Plan revolved around a civic center, in the same place it is today; a bayfront that balanced industry and recreation, as it does today; and a bay-to-park link still envisioned but not yet completed. Nolen was brought back to update his plan in 1926 and that update informed the city’s master-planning efforts for four decades. Private-sector vision, along with public-sector support and cooperation from the initially reluctant military, led to completion of two defining successes: the founding of the University of California, San Diego on what was Camp Matthews (1961), and construction of the Coronado Bay Bridge (1967-1969). Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park were also the results of such visionary leadership. In the 1970s and 1980s, a blighted downtown was redeveloped thanks in large part to public sector (led by Mayor Pete Wilson) and private sector (led by developer Ernest Hahn) collaboration. A key to this success was the 1979 City of San Diego General Plan; it divided the city into tiers, from urban to open space. That plan led to the development of the San Diego Trolley and Horton Plaza, both icons of our region today. In 1974, a report to the City of San Diego ominously titled Temporary Paradise? urged the city to avoid the mistakes of Los Angeles. It contained “An Environmental Plan for San Diego” that sought to balance growth and environmental preservation. Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization focused on regional planning issues, preservation, and revitalization of downtown San Diego) released Toward Permanent Paradise in 1984, adapting the earlier report to circumstances a decade later.

To promote San Diego for the opening of the Panama Canal and designate it as the first stop for ships coming through the canal, San Diego’s leaders hosted the PanamaCalifornia Exposition in Balboa Park in 1915. Today, one of the world’s largest urban parks, it includes many of the original buildings.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 1 Why is Our Greater San Diego Vision Necessary?

credit: Duane Bazzel

In recent years, visionaries have continued to lead the region in public-private planning ventures. Our region was among the first to implement a statewide Natural Community Conservation Planning Program during the 1980s and early 1990s, bringing together developers, farmers, environmentalists, and planners. Through the Multiple Species and Multiple Habitat Conservation Programs, a growing network of local land trusts have been working in partnership with private landowners, natural resource agencies and local governments to implement the programs’ conservation strategies over the past two decades, with the ultimate goal of protecting nearly a half million acres. Between 2002 and 2005, Carlsbad, which was largely built-out, created guiding principles for improvement projects and sustainability initiatives. Residents continued that work through Envision Carlsbad. After the wildfires of 2003 devastated the community of Alpine, a private citizen led an effort to envision the long-term development of Alpine and surrounding communities in East San Diego County. The region’s second largest city, Chula Vista, was the first city to implement state legislation to reduce waste through recycling and adopt a comprehensive climate adaptation plan, in collaboration with business and community leaders.

credit: Safdie Rabines Architects

In 2004, SANDAG adopted its first Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP). The RCP was designed to build upon the regional transportation plan and the regional-scale environmental systems plans that had been developed during the previous decade. The agency began immediately to implement certain key strategic initiatives contained in the RCP. In 2008, The San Diego Foundation (Foundation) began engaging residents region-wide in an unprecedented envisioning of our shared future. That effort evolved into Our Greater San Diego Vision. Today, it is our turn and our time to create, sustain, and implement a vision for the future, to build on past successes, and to leave a legacy for future generations – a legacy that will make us all proud.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 1 Why is Our Greater San Diego Vision Necessary?

Planning for the Region There are many agencies and organizations responsible for planning our region’s future, each with a specific focus, including SANDAG, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the San Diego County Water Authority, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the San Diego Unified Port District, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Caltrans, and the California Coastal Commission, to name a few. Our Greater San Diego Vision is intended to inform the work of these and other agencies and organizations, and to provide a voice for our residents. As one example, the long-term perspective, holistic approach, and public input of this Vision can be incorporated into the next update of the regional comprehensive plan. The San Diego region is fortunate to have many mechanisms for regional collaboration already in place providing the basis for additional collaboration with heightened public engagement. The San Diego Foundation agreed to take the lead role in coordinating Our Greater San Diego Vision for a number of reasons: To improve San Diegans’ quality of life. The Foundation’s mission is “to improve the quality of life in all of our communities by providing leadership for effective philanthropy that builds enduring assets and by promoting community solutions through research, convenings and actions that advance the common good.” There is perhaps no better way to do this than through Our Greater San Diego Vision.

When the visioning process began, 78% of San Diegans believed that the region did not have a good plan or vision for its future.

To offer a trusted forum. There are numerous stakeholders in San Diego, all with unique viewpoints. The Foundation has regularly convened stakeholders and facilitated conversations to address important regional issues. Those issues have included climate change, access to open space, financial literacy, and innovative research in science and technology. We have a rich history of visionary leaders coming together to do great things and the Foundation continues to build on that success. To address issues at the regional scale. The region’s many local and tribal governments, special districts, and local and state agencies have different geographic and issues-based scopes. None span the entirety of the region’s geography and its intertwined issues. The San Diego Foundation does and is poised to play a catalytic role in regional community problem-solving, civic education, and policy analysis.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


In September 2011, six workshops involved more than 600 San Diegans to explore potential scenarios for the future of the San Diego region. The workshops helped inform the choices and strategies presented in the public choosing campaign, Show Your Love for a Greater San Diego! In the end, more than 30,000 people voiced their choice!





The People’s Vision Our Greater San Diego Vision was designed to create a shared vision for our future. This is the people’s vision, from beginning to end, because the visioning process has sought and listened to input at every juncture and has focused exclusively on what San Diegans really care about.

Our Greater San Diego Vision Timeline

Preparation 2008-2011

Exploring Possible Solutions July-Oct 2011

Regional Vision Council launch Regional Vision Group formation Early convenings

Values research

Task force meetings

Public Choosing Nov 2011-Feb 2012

Show Your Love campaign Regional workshops

Statistical survey

Vision Development March-July 2012

Task force reviews

Vision rollout

Community presentations and feedback

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Public Engagement The process for Our Greater San Diego Vision was designed to create and build on public engagement at every stage. Everyone should be involved in protecting and promoting our shared hopes and dreams for the future. A high level of engagement also ensures public support and momentum for making the Vision a reality. Specific tools and resources were developed to engage the public, and to harness regional leadership and expertise to inform the process. Regional Vision Group. A group of early stakeholders formed the Regional Vision Group in 2008, which acted as a steering committee to structure the visioning process and to ensure inclusiveness and transparency. This diverse group included leaders with expertise in business, communications, strategic and land-use/transportation planning, human resources, law, education, innovation, and civic engagement. They volunteered their time because of their love for the San Diego region and their concern for future generations. Early Convenings. In 2008 through early 2010, the Foundation hosted eight sub-regional “convenings” to gain the perspective of various community members. The 500+ participants heard from community planners, visionaries, local and regional leaders, and community advocates. Values Research. In mid-2010, through a series of focus groups and interviews, combined with survey research, the hopes and dreams of San Diegans were illuminated. This values analysis was used throughout the process to structure focus areas and corresponding task forces, to define choices presented to the public, and ultimately, to provide a framework for the Vision. Regional Vision Council. A large, diverse group of stakeholders was gathered from across the region. These individuals were selected to represent the various populations and interests in the greater San Diego area. The Regional Vision Council gave input to the process and, individually, acted as ambassadors to facilitate public participation.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Task Forces. Task forces were created to explore the four focus areas derived from the values analysis (jobs and the economy; cultural and community amenities; housing, environment, mobility, and cost of living; and education and learning). These were made up of leaders, experts and stakeholders representing broad regional interests. Each was asked to delve into the challenges at hand, to create a wide range of choices or potential solutions to be presented to the public, and to help determine possible strategies based on the public’s choices. Regional Workshops. In September 2011, six workshops involved more than 600 San Diegans to explore potential scenarios for the future of the region. They came to talk about what really mattered to them and their communities, and to tackle tough questions about how to preserve and improve upon the things they love most. The workshops were held in various locations at different times to make them as accessible as possible. The ultimate goal of the workshops was to receive public input, and to refine the choices and strategies presented in the threemonth-long Show Your Love for a Greater San Diego! (Show Your Love) campaign. Participants answered instant-polling questions and then engaged with others in small groups to create maps of the future showing what kind of growth they would like to see and where. The instant-polling results and maps were all entered into computer software to discern common themes and trends. This information led to the refinement of the materials to be presented in the online Show Your Love public choosing.

Regional Vision Workshops Participants responded to instant polling questions that identified potential solutions in economic development, education, cost of living, and cultural and community amenities. Participants also took part in a mapping exercise, working in small groups, to plan for the future based on the projected growth forecast for 2050. Each group discussed their goals and placed small pieces of paper, representing a mix of future housing and development types, on a regional map. Participants were also given markers to draw new public transportation routes and roads, as well as areas to preserve.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Show Your Love From November 2011 to February 2012, San Diegans were asked to “Show Your Love” by choosing their preferences within an online choosing tool. This process involved new outreach strategies and resulted in the highest level of public participation in regional visioning anywhere in the country, with more than 30,000 participants.3 The online tool offered four different modules – Work, Enjoy, Live, and Learn – and included videos and visualizations to bring the choices “to life.” Significant outreach efforts resulted in broad-based participation in Show Your Love by people of all generations and backgrounds throughout the region. A survey demonstrated that roughly one-third of San Diegans were aware of the campaign.

More than 30,000 participants! 27,991 completed at least one online choosing module 2,100 completed the baseline and scientific surveys 71,147 individual modules were completed 600+ participated in regional workshops






Record-Breaking Community Engagement Our Greater San Diego Vision included an integrated, multi-media communications platform and campaign to drive unprecedented public engagement. The goal was to instill a sense of urgency and pride in San Diegans.



WORK The San Diego Foundation, in conjunction with other community organizations, has launched an ambitious project called Our Greater San Diego Vision that seeks to shape the future of this region 25, 50 or even 100 years from now – as the people themselves say they want it shaped. The group formed four task forces that have been holding meetings and workshops to discuss key components that make up our quality of life. The commentaries in this package address the task force ideas, which will be used to craft possible scenarios for the future. Beginning Nov. 8, the public – that means you – can choose among those scenarios. That in turn will lead to creation of a long-term, regional vision in early 2012. For more information, go online to www.ogsdv.org.





When The San Diego Founda- will we as a region generate a varition asked 1,000 randomly selected ety of good-paying jobs and keep San residents what the region’s priorities Diego globally competitive 25, 50 or should be, increasing the number more years in the future?” and quality of jobs emerged as the Our task force consists of 42 extop priority. When the same people perts from all facets of economic dewere asked about the issues that velopment who met several times to impact their personal consider strategies to An easier quality of life, lack of ensure that those jobs jobs and low wages are there when they regulatory ranked second-most are needed. Together, environment, we came up with three important. Our task force has potential strategies where been grappling with that will help inform the how to provide more government community and provide and better jobs for tooptions for considerhelps, not morrow. What kinds of ation for our collective jobs? Located where? hinders job future – with those opIn what industries and tions the subject of an creation. how will they boost reunprecedented public gional competitiveness? choosing starting Nov. 8. That is Put another way, our task was to when we will ask San Diegans to go come up with economic development online to www.ShowYourLoveSD. ideas to accompany the population org and make some choices about growth that is happening in the re- their vision for the future. Strategy one is to harness the gion – the jobs for our children and SEE WORK • F3 their children. Our question: “How

Our task force has an extraorWhen we ask where should we dinarily challenging job – thinking grow and how, the relationship bethrough housing, transportation, tween the built environment and water, energy, environment and the natural environment comes into cost of living 25, 50 and even 100 sharp focus. As does cost. years from now. Our 60 members Key among the factors is how to have considered how these issues address housing affordability and will weave together as location. We will need How do we a mix of housing types the region grows by an estimated 1.3 mil– townhouses, condoreduce lion people in just 30 miniums and neighborcongestion and hood housing – and we years. Whose priorities are want them close to delays as we will these issues? Yours. jobs. The San Diego Foun- expand economic T r a n s p o r t a t i o n dation surveyed 1,000 choices, commute regional residents and development times and air quality asked what affects their also weave together. centers? personal quality of life. How do we drive less by Of the top four concerns, three are providing transportation alternacovered by our task force: cost of tives from transit to biking to walkliving, traffic congestion/lack of ing? How do we reduce congestion transit and lack of affordable hous- and delays as we expand economic ing. As to what residents thought development centers? What about the region’s priorities should be, trips for recreation, entertainment water resources and quality ranked and day-to-day errands? How do SEE LIVE • F3 third.





What should education be like ment level for all students and elimiand what will define an educated nate the achievement gap? How will San Diegan in 50 years? That’s what we use technology to foster more efour 30-member task force has been fective learning at all levels? trying to answer. Tough questions, to be sure. But In 2010, The San Diego Founda- they led us to define three major tion asked 1,000 of our fellow resi- goals for education and learning. dents to rank the region’s priori- First, to maximize individual poties. The number two tential and well-beanswer (after more ing. Second, to preWe envision and better-paying pare individuals to education jobs) was improvbe well-informed and ing education. After beginning with actively engaged in all, a good education civic matters. Third, makes it easier to get prenatal health to enable individuals a well-paying job and to participate effecthrough live here. tively in a dynamic, So how will our chil- prekindergarten. global economy. dren learn? How will In asking what we prepare them with the knowl- should education look like in 50 edge and skills to fill the jobs, create years, we needed to consider what and run the businesses, make the the world will look like in 50 years. civic contributions that will make We know big changes are coming. San Diego a world-class region? Population will increase worldwide, How will we teach more kids, and most of it in Asia and Africa. Techpay for schools and teachers? How nology will continue to evolve, and SEE LEARN • F3 will we raise the academic achieve-

All work and no play is definitely community and asked them to connot San Diego. Our region is well sider the future – 25, 50 maybe even known for its 70 miles of beaches, 100 years from now. We asked them Balboa Park, wonderful museums, to explore how to preserve, protect world-class attractions, limitless and enhance the amenities that we outdoor activities, and a host of oth- and our families enjoy every day for er cultural and community ameni- future generations. ties. But are these amenities enough We asked them to dream big and to truly deserve the suggest ways in which title of America’s Finwe can increase access We now turn to est City? More to the and affordability of to you, the point – are we poised our amenities, enhance to prosper in the 21st residents of the artistic and cultural century? facilities and events, San Diego The San Diego Founexpress neighborhood dation asked 1,000 San region, to give and community idenDiegans, in a major tity and increase neighus input. survey completed last borhood desirability. year, what is most imWe asked them to deportant to them. The answers: that scribe places where education, culour places of work and play are so ture and community all flourish. Our task force grappled with close and convenient, and that we have a broad choice of outdoor rec- tough questions from the economics of amenities to how we provide culreational opportunities. Building on that research, we es- tural programs for everyone. It was tablished a task force of 45 people not our job was not to come up with SEE PLAY • F3 deeply involved in local culture and

After unprecedented media support, 1/3 of San Diegans had heard or read about the visioning process.

The campaign was communicated through a multi-media strategy leveraging a wide variety of touch points – broadcast, digital, social, traditional, and in-person – to engage San Diegans in a two-way conversation and, ultimately, get them to choose scenarios, goals and strategies in the online choosing. Three FACES commercials were developed with local celebrities, government officials and community leaders who offered their familiar “faces” to encourage San Diegans to share their vision. Unprecedented partnerships with multiple media outlets over the course of five months, combined with a modest investment, resulted in more than $3.5 million in exposure and 386 million impressions. This, in addition to viral marketing and communitybuilding through social media strategies, helped break the national record for community engagement. For a complete recap of media coverage, visit www.ourgreatersandiegovision.org/news.



Our Greater San Diego Vision

This includes 2,100 participants from the baseline and scientific surveys.

CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Scientific Validation In addition to the Show Your Love campaign, a scientific survey of more than 1,000 randomly selected San Diegans was conducted to validate the results. The survey was conducted online in February 2012 and ensured that the choosing results represented the views of the entire population, statistically controlled to reflect the region’s demographics as reported in the 2010 U.S. Census. This also provides opportunities for extensive analysis of the results by various interested groups.

Demographic Data

Everything about this visioning process was focused on providing the public with real, plausible and well-analyzed choices for the future of the region, and listening carefully to the voice of the people.

Innovative Engagement The iPad Outreach Team. A key outreach effort was the use of volunteers who took iPads into various communities throughout the county. Students from San Diego State University’s Consensus Organizing Center engaged communities with low or no broadband access (including seniors with limited mobility and transportation, the homeless, and non-English speaking residents) and encouraged them to participate. This use of iPads in a regional visioning process was a highly successful and ground-breaking technique. Community Partners. More than 200 community partners helped spread the word about Show Your Love to their constituents. These included businesses, schools, religious groups, community centers, foundations, libraries, and others. Each partner was given a specific web address, or URL. This unique URL made it possible to track the effectiveness of each partner and to encourage partners to maximize their efforts to engage the community.

Data from online choosing (left) and scientific survey (right). 17 and under:

12% | –


33% | 39%


33% | 34%


21% | 27%

Mean age:

39 | 43

White/ Caucasian:

49% | 65%*

Hispanic/ Latino:

22% | 32%

African-American: 9% | 4% Asian:

9% | 11%

Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander:

1% | 1%

American Indian or Alaskan Native:

1% | 1%


3% | 9%


– | 9%

Decline to answer: 6% | – * A portion of this category was also counted as an ethnicity in another category.

After Show Your Love, when asked how well the region is planning and preparing for the future, positive responses increased by 10%. Survey results from September 2010 (left) and February 2012 (right).


4% | 8%


33% | 39%


45% | 45%


18% | 8%

+ 10% - 10%

credit: U-T San Diego

Huddie Dean takes the online survey using an iPad on Island Avenue near 17th Street. Assisting him is volunteer Heather Marzan.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Values Research Methodology In 2010, a series of focus groups and interviews, combined with online and telephone survey research, illuminated the hopes and dreams of San Diegans using a values research technique. The technique starts by understanding which attributes or characteristics of the region have the greatest impact on quality of life, such as jobs, parks, schools, transportation, shopping, and health care facilities. From there, the research identifies the functional and emotional benefits that result when those things are present (or absent) in one’s life. Finally, the research connects those benefits with personal values, such as security, safety, family, accomplishment, and peace-of-mind.

Values and Priorities that Guide the Future of Our Region The things that we consider important to us are synonymous with our values. Values research helps to identify the priorities that matter most to people. Its primary purpose as part of this visioning process was to assess how various options for our region’s future (transportation, economy, environment, education, and culture) might impact those values. The Our Greater San Diego Vision process and outcomes have been focused by, and based on, our shared values. Residents love the proximity to many activities and amenities, the family-friendly communities, low crime rates, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Yet, there are significant negatives threatening the overall quality of life. Greatest of all is the high cost of living, which, when combined with lack of affordable housing, is three times more frequently mentioned than any other concern. Lack of job opportunities coupled with low wages is the second greatest issue regarding quality of life. So it is not surprising that, when asked to rate the importance of several regional priorities,

Factors That Have the Most Significant Impact on Quality of Life High cost of living / expensive to live here

The high cost of living is the greatest concern for San Diegans. Despite this, more than 2:1 reported that the positives of living in the greater San Diego region outweigh the negatives.


Lack of job opportunities and low wages


Too much traffic and congestion/ not enough transportation options


Lack of affordable housing


Lack of leadership on important regional issues


Everything so close and convenient


Family friendly: great place to raise a family


Low crime and safe neighborhoods


Outdoor recreation opportunities/ enjoying the outdoors High-quality schools (K-12)

Negative Impacts

Postitive Impacts

4% 4%

Percentages represent the proportion of people who consider that factor to have the most significant impact on their personal quality of life. This is only a partial listing.


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CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

increasing the number and quality of jobs, along with improving education, topped the list.

San Diegans’ Top Regional Priorities

San Diegans rate their quality of life higher than people almost anywhere else in the nation; living in this special place matters, and preserving the quality of life for future generations is a top priority.

• Increasing the number and quality of jobs

The values research identified four primary values that focus on the qualities we seek in our communities and the region. These values highlight what we love about the San Diego region, what concerns us most, and our hopes for the future. In fact, future initiatives will be judged by their ability to protect and promote these core values.

• Increasing water resources and quality

Core Values Quality Jobs and a Reasonable Cost of Living The high cost of living in San Diego County, especially housing, combined with the inability of some people to find a goodpaying job, forces many to live a lower quality of life or move out of the area. The resulting worry and stress rob them of peace-of-mind and happiness. Concern over the high cost of living is the single largest “value-driver” of the San Diego region. In no other region in the country, where similar values research has been done, are there so many residents concerned about the cost of living and a primary value focused on a negative aspect of their region.

• Improving education • Reducing crime/making neighborhoods safer

• Improving leadership to deal with challenges of region • Improving affordability of housing/living • Building public trust • Increasing economic development • Improving and resolving border issues • Increasing access to quality healthcare • Reducing traffic congestion • Improving social equity and justice • Increasing civic involvement • Increasing enjoyment and access to culture and arts

Residents envision a future where: • We have income to provide for ourselves and our families. • Living here is sufficiently affordable to have a high quality of life, free from stress and worry. • We have the opportunity, time, and resources to enjoy life with family and friends. • We can afford a place to live close to where we work or to public transportation.

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CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Family-Friendly Neighborhoods and Communities

Quality Education and Learning Opportunities

Having friends, family and good neighbors nearby makes people feel safer, allows us to spend more time with the people important to us, and builds a sense of community. This provides a sense of belonging, happiness, and peace-of-mind.

Few issues speak to the future as strongly as education. Access, choice, and opportunities in primary and secondary education provide the basis for success. Educational institutions help our children learn communication and social skills to build their personal confidence and ability to contribute to our community, culture, and civil society.

Residents envision a San Diego region with: • Low crime rates. • Local parks and recreation opportunities. • Friendly people and neighbors, where people know, care about and help each other. • Walkable/bikeable communities, where destinations are close and readily accessible. • Communities with nearby services, schools, jobs, cultural attractions, and the outdoors. • Small-town feel and community involvement.

Outdoor Opportunities for Enjoyment with Family and Friends San Diegans want to enjoy access and proximity to many outdoor opportunities including beaches, parks, trails, waterways, and other regional amenities. These provide recreational opportunities to relax and spend time with family and friends. Residents envision a region with access to:

But education is not just about children. Access to a high-quality learning environment – at all life stages – enables personal growth and helps residents achieve their goals. This builds selfesteem and improves the quality of life for all. Currently, many residents are concerned about the quality of our education system; however, they agree on many goals for the future. Residents envision a future where San Diego’s education and learning environment prepares everyone to: • Maximize individual potential and well-being. • Be well-informed and actively engaged in civic and political matters. • Participate effectively in a dynamic, global economy.

• Beaches and bays. • Regional parks and open space. • Hiking, biking and jogging trails. • Entertainment options. • Good shopping opportunities. • Convenient choices for things to enjoy with family and friends. • Transportation options that provide easy access to the places we want to go.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

credit: Erik Jepsen UC SanDiego Publications

CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

The Challenges to Our Most Important Values Compared to people throughout the country, San Diegans rate their quality of life as exceptional. At the same time, the region faces significant challenges in maintaining or improving the quality of life. Half of us think the quality of life will decrease for future generations, and only 39 percent think things are going in the right direction in their community. If current growth trends continue, San Diegans think the added population could well have negative impacts on the region. However, if growth can be thoughtfully managed, most people believe there will be many benefits. People believe that long-range planning is essential to ensure that we protect quality of life and create an even better future. San Diegans want to protect and promote the things they value, but they strongly believe these values are threatened by a variety of challenges.

Importance of a Long-Range Plan for the Region According to the values research for Our Greater San Diego Vision, almost 80% of San Diegans feel that a vision or long-range plan for the region is extremely or very important, but only 37% believed that the region was doing a good or excellent job in planning for the future when this visioning effort began. Extremely important

38% 79%

Very important

41% Somewhat important

18% Not very important

2% Not at all important

1) Housing Affordability and Cost of Living Housing affordability may be the single greatest challenge the region faces. When asked to choose what has the most significant impact on their overall quality of life, one-third of San Diegans cite high cost of living or lack of affordable housing. Indeed, San Diegans pay a higher percentage of their incomes for housing (31%) than do residents of any other major metropolitan area in the country.4 This is more than people in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, or Boston. The ratio of median home price to median household income in San Diego County is nearly twice as high as the national average. Many San Diegans worry that they or their children will not be able to afford to stay here. Housing costs also create a barrier to attracting and retaining a talented workforce, and to attracting employers. As the region grows, more housing will be needed, likely leading to surges in prices unless supply keeps up with demand.


Six-year average of Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2004–2010.


Future Quality of Life Is‌





Unless action is taken, almost half of San Diegans believe the quality of life will decrease in the future.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Ratio of Median Home Price to Household Income in San Diego County and the U.S.

Despite recent decreases in home prices, adequate housing remains very expensive.

12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1981

1990 San Diego




Source: Moody’s Economy.com, State of the Cities Data Systems, U.S. Census Bureau

500,000 new jobs will be needed by 2050 to support the forecasted population growth. Projected Population and Employment for San Diego County


5M 4M 3M


2M 1M Population 2010



Source: SANDAG and U.S. Census Growth projections depend on numerous factors including: economic (job) growth, affordability, quality of life, land supply, education, and healthcare.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

2) Jobs and the Economy To support the 1.3 million additional people who are projected to call the San Diego region home by 2050, another 500,000 jobs will have to be created. This will be a challenge, given the threats to the region’s important economic sectors. The primary challenges include: High cost of doing business. This results from both the state and local regulatory systems and the direct and indirect impacts of higher real estate costs.5 High cost of housing. San Diego’s cost of housing makes it difficult for employers to attract talent. Lackluster education attainment and workforce training. The San Diego region’s overall workforce is well-educated, relative to both the state and country, but has moderately lower levels of educational attainment than those in key competitive regions. Of greater concern is the widening educational attainment gap between 1990 and 2009, suggesting that the San Diego region is potentially losing ground to regions with which it directly competes for jobs and talent.


Kolko, Neumark, Cuellar Mejia. “Business Climate Rankings and the California Economy,” Public Policy Institute of California, April 2011.

CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Inferior infrastructure. The local economy is constrained by highly congested roads,6 substantial delays at the border, the cost of importing water, and an airport approaching capacity, among others. Lack of ability to make difficult economic decisions. Residents and businesses cite the seeming inability of local government to do what needs to be done. The state and local governments’ poor fiscal condition exacerbates this challenge by threatening essential public services.

credit: Chuck Martinez

3) Educational Quality and Opportunities Education and learning are viewed as critical to the future of the region. San Diegans are concerned that current learning systems are not adequate to meet the challenges of the future. In 2050, the world will look very different. The minority population in our region will become the majority. Technology will make information increasingly accessible. Labor, capital and knowledge will be global and more mobile. Undoubtedly, other changes will occur that cannot be predicted. How will San Diego’s overall learning environment adapt to ensure that the region is a worldclass, international player? Many San Diegans are not satisfied with the current system. Almost one in four do not graduate from high school in four years, and educational attainment levels in San Diego County are lower than those in Boston, San Francisco, and the North Carolina “Research Triangle.” Moreover, many competitive regions are increasing educational attainment faster than the San Diego region.

credit: LPA, Inc./Costea Photography, Inc.

Mixed Feelings About the San Diego Region’s Current Education System When rating the overall quality of education for children and teenagers growing up in the San Diego region, values research indicates that opinions are split. Just over half of the respondents rated the current system as excellent or good. Excellent

13% Good




33% Poor

14% 6

More than 70% of the region’s freeway miles are congested (Rebuild California: The Road Crisis), which is similar to other very large metropolitan areas (Texas Transportation Institution: 2011 Urban Mobility Report).

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

4) Congestion and Transportation Choices

credit:Arleigh Jenkins

The amount of traffic congestion and time spent traveling frustrates San Diegans. The average driver in the region spent 37 hours in traffic congestion in 2009, at a cost of $838 in lost time, in addition to 31 gallons of fuel wasted.7 Roads are clogged and public transportation is limited, making it difficult and time-consuming to travel.8 Current congestion is projected to increase in the coming decades. As the region grows, the inability of people and goods to move efficiently and conveniently threatens quality of life, along with economic development.

5) Water Availability

credit: www.aquafornia.com

With our region’s projected population growth and current water consumption rates, we will require 37% more water in 2050. But our arid region faces significant challenges from currently limited water supplies, as well as from climate change and its potential impacts on those supplies. In fact, local scientists project that our major sources of water – the Colorado River, and the Sacramento Delta – could shrink by 20% or more in coming decades, making it even more difficult to meet future demands.9

6) Political Fragmentation The region includes one county, eighteen municipalities, and eighteen Native American tribal governments, each largely pursuing its own plan, while many of our most important issues and challenges cross the formal boundaries of these jurisdictions. Through SANDAG’s efforts, the San Diego region is known as a leader in regional planning. This level of cooperation and collaboration is needed across all areas of inter-governmental coordination. Unified, concerted action and strong, visionary leadership that invites and listens to public input will be necessary to tackle the many challenges facing the San Diego region.



Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University. “2010 Urban Mobility Report.”


Our congested roads are also unfriendly to pedestrians. In fact, over 1/5 of San Diego area traffic deaths were pedestrian in 2010. Transportation for America and Surface Transportation Partnership, Dangerous by Design.


San Diego’s Changing Climate: A Regional Wake-Up Call, by the San Diego Foundation, 2008.

Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 2 The Visioning Process

Four Focus Areas: WELL From the priorities that were identified in the values research, four primary focus areas were defined. These areas each cut across multiple core values and represent discrete topics for study. The visioning process was designed to address the focus areas: Work, Enjoy, Live, and Learn – WELL.

Jobs and the economy: Positioning San Diego County as a national and international player, attracting and creating new growth industries, strengthening existing industry clusters, supporting economic catalysts, and exploring new strategies. Cultural and community amenities: Ensuring access to and affordability of art and cultural amenities, defining and expressing community and cultural identity, promoting cultural tourism, increasing community and neighborhood investment, attracting and retaining the creative class, increasing neighborhood gathering places, fostering outdoor recreation for families and youth, integrating the creative arts into the educational system and learning environment. Housing, environment, mobility, and cost of living: Addressing housing affordability and location, transportation choices, commute times, air quality, walkability, transit access, open space, environmental preservation, carbon footprint, energy and water consumption/conservation, economic development centers, smart growth, creating vibrant places and safe neighborhoods. Education and learning: Improving education’s future in the context of rapidly evolving educational technology, multi-lingual environments, and emerging disciplines; access, affordability, quality for all; collaboration among employers, industries and academics; early childhood education. Our Greater San Diego Vision


The Show Your Love public choosing campaign provided a tangible way for thousands of San Diegans to weigh-in on important options for their future. What San Diegans chose frames a public call-to-action.

credit: Sam Felder


San Diegans

make choices about their


Work: Jobs and the Economy

Top Three Sectors in the San Diego Regional Economy

The public identified challenges related to employment and income as primary concerns at the outset. San Diegans made clear that the overarching goal was to ensure an abundance of good jobs to provide them, and their children and their grandchildren, with the ability to live comfortably in the region. The San Diego region’s economy benefits from its remarkable natural environment, its strategic geopolitical location on the Pacific Rim, and visionary investments in educational and research institutions. The result of these natural gifts and investments is a diversified economy supported by three “traded economies,” or clusters of businesses: tourism, the military, and advanced technology/innovation. Representing about 35% of the region’s jobs, these three clusters are the primary importers of money into the San Diego region. The money they attract – visitors’ spending on hotels, restaurants, and attractions; federal military-related spending; and the sale of technological innovations (goods or services) globally – effectively supports the entire regional economy.

~ 35% ~ 65%

Research and technology ~ 173,000 Convention and tourism ~ 153,000 The military ~ 142,000 Other local jobs ~ 750,000 Total jobs in the region ~ 1,218,000 Source: San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and CONNECT

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

The Region’s History of Innovation San Diego has a long history of innovation. E.W. Scripps built the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Reuben H. Fleet built fighter planes that helped win World War II. Roger Revelle envisioned and helped found a new research university – the University of California, San Diego. Jonas Salk built the Salk Institute and transformed science with the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Irwin Jacobs further developed CDMA technology and helped launch wireless communications. Ivor Royston came to study biology and launched a biotech industry. Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist Charles David Keeling documented carbon dioxide increase with its potential to cause climate change. Craig Venter was among the first to create a synthetic life form.

This diversified economic base has, until recently, allowed the region’s economy to grow faster than the state’s and meet the needs of its growing population, even as affordability diminished during later decades. By 2005, however, the region’s economy was growing no faster than the sluggish California economy, and experienced even more severe job losses during the recession. During the 2000s, the region’s population grew by more than 280,000, while the region added only 33,000 jobs. It should have added nearly 120,000 new jobs to maintain the balance of residents and jobs. The region’s economy faces significant long-term challenges, including the high cost of doing business and the high cost of housing, lackluster educational attainment and workforce training, inadequate infrastructure, and inability to make difficult economic decisions. The San Diego region continues to have a strong economic foundation and tremendous opportunities to grow, but must address these challenges in order to ensure that enough high-quality jobs exist tomorrow.

Presenting Choices to the Public Participants ranked a series of strategies according to their importance. These strategies represented different – although not mutually exclusive – paths to achieve a prosperous economy and high-quality jobs. Participants were also asked to rank a set of specific action items according to their potential positive impacts.

Show Your Love Results Not surprisingly, San Diegans want to ensure that they and local businesses benefit from economic growth. Participants further recognized the value of retaining and strengthening the region’s three major traded economies, but also recognized a unique opportunity to grow the region’s innovation economy. While we must work hard to maintain and grow the positive impacts of the military and tourism, and grow them where possible, the greatest potential for economic growth is likely in the innovation economy. The top action items reinforce the public’s desire to ensure that economic development benefits the region’s residents. San Diegans want a better commute, access to jobs, a broader spectrum of job opportunities including manufacturing, and programs that enable residents and local businesses to participate in economic growth. Together, the preferred strategies help clarify priorities and the context for economic development initiatives.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future


Strategies were ranked according to their importance.

Participants identified three preferred economic development strategies.

Percentages represent the proportion of people who ranked that strategy #1. Listed in order of the Choosing results.

online choosing (left)

scientific survey

Support our local economy and its relationship to the region’s major industries: Ensure that local-serving businesses have the resources they need to thrive, and

27% |


23% |


22% |



that our diverse community is well-prepared to fill jobs. Harness the power of innovation: Greatly expand one of the region’s three traded economies and, the innovation industry. This includes life sciences, clean-tech, high-tech manufacturing, wireless, defense and security, research institutions, etc. Promote the continued prosperity of innovation, military and tourism: Focus on expanding existing major industries to provide a diverse range of job opportunities for people of varying skills, education, and interest. Expand beyond the three existing major industries: Increase regional job diversity by building an additional export industry, which is to be determined. 15% | 12% Create a cross-border mega-region: Leverage the advantages of surrounding areas (San Diego County, Imperial County, and Baja California Norte) to create a globally competitive mega-region. 13% | 9%

Participants identified several potential priority actions.

Actions were ranked according to their potential positive impacts. Percentages reflect the proportion of people who gave it the first or second highest possible score (a 4 or a 5). Listed in order of the Choosing results.

Improve infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, cyber infrastructure, and the port.

77% |


Commercialize technology and manufacture new products in the San Diego region.

74% |


Invest in training and education, to assist our diverse communities.

74% |


Grow new employment centers.

71% |


Invest in catalytic institutions (such as universities) that support economic growth.

70% |


Reduce regulation to make it easier for companies to add jobs.

67% |


Increase the percentage of advanced-degree recipients. 60% | 42% Ensure easy travel across the border for people and goods. 50% | 27%

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Enjoy: Cultural and Community Amenities Long-Lasting Impacts The region’s focus on enhancing community and cultural amenities can have a significant impact by:

San Diegans love the place they call “home.” They value access and proximity to the beaches and the many other amenities that provide opportunities to enjoy good times with family and friends. They enjoy their neighbors and a sense of community, safety and belonging.

• Attracting and retaining employers and employees.

The San Diego region is unique in its multinational culture and history, combined with the remarkable natural and man-made amenities. These amenities include parks, open spaces, beaches, trails, sports, libraries, museums, places of worship, performing arts, and theme parks, among others.

• Increasing tourism and its economic benefits.

Presenting Choices to the Public

• Improving quality of life.

• Enhancing multicultural education, awareness, understanding, and respect. • Reducing obesity and health care needs through healthier living.

Participants in Show Your Love reviewed five potential approaches for the region’s culture and community, along with specific actions for each approach. The choosing included two exercises. First, participants were asked to rank the five approaches in order of their importance to culture and community. Next, each participant allocated 100 points, representing limited resources, among the approaches.

Show Your Love Results San Diegans registered their highest support for “protect and connect natural lands,” reflecting the great importance of being able to preserve, access and enjoy natural amenities.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future


Approaches were ranked in order of their importance. online choosing

Percentages represent the proportion of people who ranked that approach #1. Listed in order of the Choosing results.

Protect and connect natural lands. Protect, promote, and connect our tremendous natural and outdoor amenities, including beaches, bays, canyons, rivers, mountains, and parks.


scientific survey

30% |



• All communities have access to parks and open space. • A regional open space network links beaches, bays, canyons, rivers, mountains, and parks. • Key open space areas are acquired and protected.

Expand education’s focus on physical activity, arts, civics, and culture. Support education to help people live balanced, productive and happy lives and respect other cultures and diversity. 24% | 28% • Every student learns about arts, civics, culture, and a healthy lifestyle in school. • Community and cultural organizations increase educational programming, activities, and resources. Ensure access to major community amenities. Ensure access for all residents to important regional amenities (natural or man-made). 19% | 21% • As the region grows, existing amenities are improved or new amenities are added. • A variety of transportation options provide access to major amenities. • Technology facilitates virtual access to amenities and programs. Provide access to gathering places. Ensure that all communities have access to physical and virtual gathering places. 14% | 10% • Gathering places may include parks and open space, recreation centers, schools, virtual gathering places, and facilities for arts and cultural programs. • People can get to gathering places on foot or by bicycle. Promote San Diego’s unique culture and history. Protect, preserve, and educate residents and potential visitors about unique aspects of the San Diego region’s culture and history. 12% | 9%

credit: Vincent Blocker

Participants also allocated 100 points among the approaches. The chart shows the average number of points allocated for each approach. online choosing

16 | 17


24 | 25

18 | 18

scientific survey (right)

21 | 20 21 | 20

• Arts, design, architecture, and innovation. • Bi-national arts, culture, and experiences. • Unique regional history as the bi-national birthplace of California.

Note: Pie chart slices represent the online choosing results.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Live: Housing, the Environment, Transportation, and Cost of Living Land-Use Scenarios for Show Your Love Future land-use scenarios help predict what the future might look like based on choices we make today. It is then possible to calculate, as best we can, what impact those choices would have on things that matter to us. Show Your Love presented four scenarios, illustrated by maps on the opposite page, along with key information about their future impacts.


San Diegans care about their community—the places we live, work and spend time with family and friends. More than anything else, we want to be able to afford a desirable place to live that is close to places we want to go. We want a safe community with good neighbors, where we can easily access work, parks, shopping, and open spaces. We also care about impacts on the natural environment – from water resources to our natural surroundings and habitat areas, to greenhouse gas emissions. San Diegans are ready for communities to change, as needed, to provide a high quality of life for future generations.

Presenting Choices to the Public Participants evaluated regional priorities, including future land-use scenarios, growth strategies, and regional collaboration. The future land-use scenarios were based on input from the public, and regional and national experts. Importantly, all four scenarios accommodate future growth much more compactly than the region currently does, and include the same future regional improvements for both roads and public transportation. The scenarios differ most in the degree to which each provides the mix of housing people will want and will be able to afford. The scenarios also differ in the degree of regional cooperation needed to locate housing options closer to jobs, and people closer to public transportation, parks, stores, and other places they want to go.

Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Scenarios as described in Show Your Love:





Scenario A: In Scenario A’s vision of the future, we will continue to grow and develop the region much as we have in the past. The county and each of the cities will continue to pursue their own plans for the future—independent of others in our region. In this vision of our future, most people will continue to live in single-family homes and much of our new housing will be in neighborhoods that are separated from jobs, shopping, recreation, and public transportation. If we choose this direction, we use more water and consume somewhat more land than the other scenarios.

Scenario B: In Scenario B’s vision of the future, we will build the types of housing that people will want and be able to afford, including a mix of single-family homes, apartments, and townhomes. In this vision of the future, the county and cities will need to cooperate and work together to build new regional job centers for the entire region and locate jobs, shopping, recreation, and public transportation closer to where people live. While focusing on creating new job centers and meeting peoples’ housing choices, Scenario B also uses less vacant land, sensitive land, and water than Scenarios A and D.

Scenario C: In Scenario C’s vision of the future, we will concentrate new housing into more compact types of development further reducing development on open and sensitive lands as well as overall water consumption. More people will live in townhomes than in any other scenario and a lot fewer people will live in single-family homes than today. In this vision of the future, the county and cities will need to cooperate and work together. By working together, we will be able to locate jobs, shopping, recreation, and public transportation closer to where people live.

Scenario D: In Scenario D’s vision of the future, we will follow the current city and county growth projections for where jobs and people will go in their communities and the region. The key to this vision of the future is that most of the new housing will be in the form of mid- and high-rise apartments and condo towers—more than a third of new housing will be in high-rise buildings and an additional one fourth of all the housing will be in 3- to 6-story buildings. Overall, there will be far fewer people living in single-family homes. At the same time, more vacant land will be consumed by rural housing on lots larger than one acre. Because the County and each city continue to do independent planning in this scenario, some cities will avoid any growth in their community while others will end up building a lot of new midand high-rise housing. This scenario puts more people closer to the coast and public transportation than any other scenario.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Scenario performance as described in Show Your Love: A
















(<6,000 sq ft lot)




















Scenarios Percent of people who will be able to find the kind of housing they want and can afford Rural Standard single-family (6,000-12,000 sq ft lot)

Compact single-family Housing Mix




Housing cost per sq ft

$$$ $$$ $$$ 17.9%

 B$$$ C $$$ HOUSING

D $$$$


Housing Mix Impacts

Percent of County urbanized in 40 years Outdoor water consumption



207 207







$$$$ $$$$ 17.5%



196 196

157 157


214 214



(in acres)


$$$ 16.1%



Growth on agricultural land

$$$ $$$ 17.4%





























Percent of people within walking distance of public transportation Daily commute time Growth Pattern Impacts

(in minutes)

Greenhouse gas emissions (per capita pounds per day)

Percent of growth that is infill


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Show Your Love Results Participants selected Scenario B as their top preference, with Scenario C coming in second. Scenario B was likely preferred because it provides the mix of housing people are projected to want and be able to afford, based on current preferences and anticipated future demographic changes. The mix includes singlefamily homes, apartments and townhomes. At the same time, the growth patterns in both Scenario B and Scenario C resulted in decreased water consumption and less land (including agricultural land) used for development. Scenarios B and C both include new job centers and balanced growth in the north and south parts of the county. They both locate jobs and housing in proximity to each other by locating centers of commerce, shopping and recreation throughout the developed areas of the region. By putting housing close to public transportation and jobs, Scenarios B and C slightly reduce daily commute times and greenhouse gas emissions compared to the other scenarios. Scenario C is similar to B but includes slightly more compact development that does not match what people will want and be able to afford as closely as B does. Together, Scenarios B and C were the choice of more than 80% of the participants.


Participants selected one scenario that reflected their personal overall preference for the future of the San Diego region. Percentages represent the proportion of people who ranked that scenario #1.

8% | 5%

credit: www.keithkylehomes.com

The Impact of a Difficult and Uncertain Housing Approval Process As a result of interviews with local developers and discussions with the Work Task Force, it is apparent that lengthy and uncertain entitlement and approval processes increase costs and hamper construction of sufficient supply to meet demand. One role of Our Greater San Diego Vision is to address these kinds of issues. A regional vision can provide clear objectives about the types of housing that people most desire. By providing guidance for policy decisions, the Vision can provide support so that the desired kinds of development in appropriate locations are easy and affordable to build and allowed by right. This will help moderate housing prices for all San Diegans while incentivizing the right kind of growth and preserving key open space areas.

11% | 14%




Note: Pie chart slices represent the online choosing results.

online choosing (left)


scientific survey (right)

43% |


38% |


Scenarios B and C were the choice of more than 80% of the participants in the visioning.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Current Plan Projections

Future Market Demand



9% 23%




9% 62%


Rural Standard single-family home (6,000-12,000 sq ft lot)

Compact single-family home (<6,000 sq ft lot)

Townhomes Mid- or high-rise

Balancing Housing Stock with Future Demand Today, the housing mix in San Diego County is approximately 55% singlefamily homes, 16% townhomes, and 29% other multi-family. To meet the housing mix called for by current city and county plans, 80% of all new housing built in the San Diego region would need to be in townhomes, apartments and condos, rather than single-family homes. Housing demand projections based on future demographic changes, however, call for much fewer apartments and condominiums, with much of the housing demand being for townhomes and compact single-family homes. The scenario modeling demonstrates that it is possible to allow the market to meet the actual demand without sacrificing other goals such as protecting open space, reducing travel times, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

Getting to the Preferred Scenario Scenario B differs significantly from current city and county projections of where housing and jobs will be in the future. The majority of new growth in existing plans is projected for the south county and includes a vast amount of redevelopment in existing communities, primarily in the city of San Diego. Scenario B includes significant, but reduced, redevelopment in the south county and the city of San Diego, and increases new growth in the north county, particularly near the Sprinter rail line. Scenario B matches projections of housing people will want and be able to afford, resulting in 52% of new units as multi-family (apartments, condominiums, and townhomes or row houses). In Scenario B, 48% of future housing would be in the form of singlefamily detached homes, with roughly half of that on small lots (under 6,000 square feet per lot). By comparison, current plans designate 80% of new housing units as multi-family (apartments, condominiums, and townhomes or row houses). This means that only 20% would be single-family detached homes. A mismatch between the housing being built and what people want can cause prices of the desired units to increase dramatically. By matching housing to market demand, Scenario B consumes significantly less land than what has been the case for the last 30 years, and even less than what is currently projected for the future, with only 1% of growth in the form of very large lot, rural housing. Getting from current plans and projections to something more like Scenario B will take coordinated effort and regional cooperation to ensure that all local plans and approvals, when aggregated, provide what people want and can afford. When some communities resist growth, or resist a particular type of growth, burdens can be created for other communities and for the region as a whole.

CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Results for Specific Growth Issue Questions Overwhelming support for regional collaboration. 75% of participants support regional collaboration where cities, the county, local communities, and other organizations work together to identify and meet shared goals. Support for high-speed rail. When asked if high-speed rail should be built “to connect San Diego to Los Angeles and other major cities in California,� by almost a 4:1 margin, San Diegans strongly agreed or somewhat agreed.

credit: California High-Speed Rail Authority

Support for a new South Bay university. When asked if a new university should be built in the South Bay to meet the higher education needs of people throughout the region and to become an international hub for new job creation, nearly two-thirds strongly or somewhat agreed. Support for redevelopment of Qualcomm Stadium. Nearly two-thirds of the participants strongly or somewhat agreed that Qualcomm Stadium and its parking area should be redeveloped into a vibrant new town center with jobs and housing. Some support for select new development. Additional international airport: Participants strongly agreed or somewhat agreed, by a 2:1 margin, that because the ability to expand the existing international airport is limited, building an additional international airport would be good for the region. A new sports and entertainment complex: For the region to be world-class, nearly 50% strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that it would be necessary to build a new sports and entertainment complex to attract major professional and college-level teams and attract major cultural and sporting events. Lack of support. San Diegans were almost evenly split between support and opposition for development in areas like Rancho Guejito. Slightly more were opposed than were in favor of allowing some building along the coast to be taller than 30 feet even to avoid building on more vacant land, although a significant number were undecided. Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Learn: Education and Learning

Ready for Change It is clear that San Diegans are ready to try new approaches to improve the quality of education and learning, including some approaches that would require significant changes. San Diegans want a learning environment that prepares people for a global economy, a civil society and democracy, and a lifetime of personal achievement.

The quality of the region’s educational environment and learning systems is important for attracting a competitive labor force and employers, fostering multicultural awareness and understanding, building a participatory democracy, and maximizing the opportunity for all San Diegans to succeed. San Diegans clearly communicated the importance of education in the values research conducted early in the visioning process.

Presenting Choices to the Public Optional approaches for the future of San Diego’s education system came out of the process and from the Learn Task Force. First, participants were asked to consider three goals and were given 100 points to allocate among them. Next, participants ranked seven specific strategies in order of importance. Participants were then shown five general approaches to improve education and learning and asked to rank them in order of their importance and then allocate 100 points among the five approaches. They could also allocate points to continuing the existing education system.

Show Your Love Results Remarkably, San Diegans registered almost equal support for all three goals, suggesting a balanced learning and education system that is not narrowly focused on any one approach. All seven of the specific actions received strong support, with a clear majority of San Diegans rating each action either important or extremely important. FOR GREATER EDUCATION

Participants allocated 100 points among three goals. The numbers represent the average number of points allocated for each approach. Listed in order of the Choosing results. online choosing

Enable individuals to participate effectively in a dynamic, global economy. Maximize individual potential and well-being.


32 | 32

36 | 36

scientific survey (right)

Prepare individuals to be well-informed and actively engaged in civic and political matters.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

32 | 32

CHAPTER 3 San Diegans Make Choices about Their Future

Participants ranked seven strategies based on the importance to them personally. Percentages reflect the proportion of people who gave it the first or second highest possible score (a 4 or a 5). Listed in order of the Choosing results. Learners have opportunities to develop workplace success skills including critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and communication.

85% |


Parents are educated in how to prepare their children for school.

78% |


Technology is used to expand learning options, personalize teaching, provide feedback, and connect learners with one another and other places/countries.

77% |


76% |


76% |


Learners and parents receive help to guide them through the options for learning.

74% |


Competition among education providers promotes quality, innovation and affordability.

64% |


Options are provided for lifelong learning as changes occur in the economy or in people’s interests, employment and career status. All children receive pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education.

Approaches were ranked in order of their importance to the successful future of education and learning. Percentages represent the proportion of people who ranked that approach #1. Listed in order of the Choosing results.

Prepare children to learn. • Every mother receives affordable pre-natal care.

27% | 25%

Participants allocated 100 points among the approaches, including the option to continue the existing system.

• Parents receive help to prepare their children. • Universal pre-school and kindergarten are provided.

Personalize education and learning. • Each learner is taught in the way he/she learns best.

24% | 29%

The chart shows the average number of points allocated for each approach.

• Learners move as fast as they are able. • Technology is used to teach in personalized ways, and connect learners with one another and teachers/parents.

online choosing

10 | 15

Prepare students for success in a global economy. 16% | 17% • All learners are taught multiple languages and exposed to world cultures and places. • Learners develop workplace skills and receive career planning and mentorship.

15 | 14


23 | 20

15 | 15

Expand the marketplace of learning options. 16% | 12%

scientific survey (right)

19 | 19

18 | 17

• A wide variety of education providers offer a range of options. • Competition promotes quality, innovation and affordability. • Learners and parents receive guidance to navigate options.

Continue the existing system

• Funding allows access to a wide array of offerings.

(not included in the ranking portion of the choosing)

Implement universal post-secondary learning. 15% | 18% • Post-secondary learning options are expanded and financial assistance is available. • Education focuses on post-secondary preparation, including apprenticeship and vocational learning.

Note: Pie chart slices represent the online choosing results.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


A clear vision for the future of the San Diego region allows residents, business owners, governments, and stakeholders an opportunity to contribute to its fruition and help advance the region’s shared aspirations.

credit: Nguyen Truyen


Our Greater

San Diego VISION Core Values and Goals Through the research, surveys, and public engagement process, it became clear what San Diegans want – a future that is built upon four core values: quality jobs and a reasonable cost of living that benefit the entire community, family-friendly neighborhoods and communities, outdoor opportunities for enjoyment with family and friends, and quality education and learning opportunities. In the public choosing phase, San Diegans established seven goals that will serve our four core values, improve our quality of life, and allow us to Work, Enjoy, Live, and Learn. 1. A prosperous economy provides a broad range of job opportunities. 2. Housing options match what people want and can afford. 3. A quality learning environment effectively prepares people for life. 4. Neighborhoods are safe, vibrant and convenient centers of community life, arts, and culture. 5. Nature is accessible, connected, and protected for people to enjoy. 6. Convenient transportation choices are available for people to go where they want. 7. Trusted regional leadership, collaboration, and participation create a future that fulfills people’s hopes and dreams. Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 4 Our Greater San Diego Vision

San Diegans Envision a Region Where…

credit: East County Magazine

1. A Prosperous Economy Provides a Broad Range Of Good Job Opportunities San Diegans envision a regional economy where businesses thrive and local residents share in economic growth and prosperity. The region’s organizations and institutions must work together with the public to support and strengthen the San Diego region’s primary economic drivers (innovation, the military, and tourism), and to ensure that local businesses and residents are prepared to prosper from growth in these sectors.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

2. Housing Options Match What People Want and Can Afford People love living here, but the inability to find housing they can afford creates stress and financial worry, limits economic development, and can force people or their children to move. The region’s future hinges on its ability to create housing options that people want and can afford. While each individual community will likely have a different mix of housing types, it is important that residents of all ages and backgrounds can find a home. The region must create housing that people will need in the future, and realize that market forces will drive prices up if supply is lacking.

CHAPTER 4 Our Greater San Diego Vision

3. A Quality Learning Environment Effectively Prepares People for Life San Diegans want an effective learning environment that maximizes individual potential and well-being, prepares individuals to be well-informed and actively engaged in civic and political matters, and enables individuals to participate effectively in a dynamic, global economy. San Diegans want to explore a variety of new approaches, including some that would require radical change. Ensuring an effective education system is critical to developing a competitive labor force that will attract employers, foster multicultural awareness and understanding, build a participatory democracy, and maximize the opportunity for all San Diegans to succeed.

4. Neighborhoods Are Safe, Vibrant, and Convenient Centers of Community Life, Arts, and Culture San Diegans’ quality of life is strongly dependent on where we live, how safe and secure we feel, how well we know our neighbors, and whether there is a vibrant sense of community. We want to live in a place where it is easy to get to work, get kids to school, access green space and cultural amenities, and spend time with family and friends. We also want a community that has character and identity based on the creative and artistic contributions and aspirations of our residents. These dimensions of cultural vitality are linked to economic development, positive health outcomes and civic engagement. As the region grows, we must reinvest in existing neighborhoods and grow new neighborhoods, so that all people of the San Diego region have desirable places to live.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 4 Our Greater San Diego Vision

San Diegans Envision a Region Where‌

5. Nature Is Accessible, Connected, and Protected for People to Enjoy San Diegans want a future where they have access to parks, open space, beaches, bays, canyons, rivers, and mountains, with a regional open space network linking and protecting those areas. San Diegans have a long history of protecting the region’s beauty and diverse wildlife through ambitious programs to create a regionally interconnected system of open space and natural habitat preserves. This needs to continue in a way that is compatible with future development. Much more can and must be done to develop a complete system of natural lands, and improve access to parks and open space in park-poor neighborhoods. Both acquisition and stewardship efforts to manage and create access are essential.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

6. Convenient Transportation Choices Are Available for People to Go Where They Want San Diegans want to be able to travel without wasting time in traffic so that we can spend more time with family and friends. We want a future with more transportation choices; roads that are not congested; destinations, such as shopping, work and recreation, closer to home; walkable and bikeable neighborhoods; and less of our income spent on transportation. Convenience requires reducing travel distances by shifting land-use patterns to bring homes, jobs, shops, services, and educational facilities closer together in more accessible environments. It also means embracing new travel choices, including public transportation, and expanded bikeways and walkways, and finding the resources to invest in the infrastructure the region needs.

CHAPTER 4 Our Greater San Diego Vision

7. Trusted Regional Leadership, Collaboration, and Participation Create a Future That Fulfills People’s Hopes and Dreams At the outset of Our Greater San Diego Vision, San Diegans said that the region needed leadership to develop a long-range vision for the future. San Diegans want to be, and will become, more involved if they are provided with clear choices and a way to participate. In this effort, San Diegans set a national record with their level of participation. Future public engagement can be equally or even more successful.

The number of San Diegans who said that the region is doing an excellent or good job of planning and preparing for the future increased by 10% during the visioning process. San Diegans have a history of coming together to do great things for the future. All of us can continue that tradition to build on the past and continue to improve the quality of life of the San Diego region for tomorrow.

Future collaboration should involve diverse stakeholders, incorporate San Diegans’ values, and present clear choices with a simple and convenient way to respond. This process should drive ongoing engagement.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


The San Diego region has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to capitalize on the momentum and energy of Our Greater San Diego Vision. The future of the region is up to all of us.


supporting the



Strategies and Actions By working together today, we can achieve the future to which we collectively aspire: a prosperous economy with housing that people want and can afford, a quality learning environment, vibrant neighborhoods and rich culture, an interconnected network of protected natural lands, and convenient transportation choices. Our Greater San Diego Vision and its seven goals were derived from San Diegans’ core values, the Show Your Love campaign results, and many discussions during task force meetings and regional workshops. In support of the seven goals that were set, the participants in each WELL task force brainstormed potential strategies and associated actions to achieve them.

Residents desire stronger leadership, more community participation and collaboration to ensure a better future for their children and grandchildren.

Many local governments, businesses, and community organizations are already pursuing efforts to advance priorities identified in the Vision. However, the online choosing and scientific survey show that people in our region, including many involved in those efforts, do not think this is enough. To continue conversations about what more might be done, this chapter offers numerous examples of inspiration and potential strategic actions. These are organized by the core goals and originated in task force discussions and recommendations, from the Show Your Love results, and from nation-wide best practices. Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

* Indicates specific strategies and actions that were part of the Show Your Love campaign and were supported by people across the region.

#1: A Prosperous Economy Provides a Broad Range of Good Job Opportunities Potential strategy to achieve goal #1: 1. Make critical investments so the entire region can participate in the 21st century economy.* Supporting actions to consider: • Invest in the expansion of existing job centers and the creation of new ones.* • Continue to enhance infrastructure systems including transportation and utilities.* • Expand investment in the commercialization of technology and manufacture of new products (keep all stages of product development and production here).* • Increase the educational attainment and training of the local workforce.* • Continue to invest in important catalysts: tourism attractions, research institutions and universities, and military facilities.* Potential strategy to achieve goal #1: 2. Promote the continued prosperity of San Diego’s major traded economies:10 innovation, the military, and tourism.* Supporting actions to consider: • Find opportunities for convergence among innovation, tourism, and the military, as well as the local-serving industries. • Foster greater collaboration among economic development organizations to promote growth of clusters across the region.

The three most significant traded economies in the San Diego region are the military, tourism, and innovation.

• Increase training for residents and increase the number of graduates in post-secondary programs in science, mathematics, engineering, computer science, hospitality management, and tourism.


10 As described above, this term refers to the three major San Diego industries that bring money into the region from outside. This money then circulates through the region’s economy.

Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

Big Ideas

Potential strategy to achieve goal #1: 3. Foster San Diego’s major economic growth opportunity – its innovation economy.*

South Bay University

Supporting actions to consider: • Promote growth of existing and new research and educational institutions for communications, life sciences and emerging technologies. • Encourage regulatory policies that attract and retain innovation and technology companies and entrepreneurs. Potential strategy to achieve goal #1: 4. Ensure that all businesses and residents benefit from the region’s economic growth.* Supporting actions to consider: • Continue to invest in community-based training to help residents benefit from growing industries.*

Continue planning efforts to establish a new university in the South Bay area as an international hub for job creation. With no four-year university in the southern part of the region today, this would provide area learners accessible, higher education opportunities and increased higher-paying employment opportunities. Additionally, it would contribute to a larger, higher educated workforce, resulting in ability to recruit more diverse businesses and employers to the region. Like other universities in the region, it would catalyze economic development by spurring research and development and attracting employers. Moreover, a multi-national, multicultural university could enhance our economic relationship with Mexico.

• Put new jobs closer to a greater share of the region’s workforce (South and East County). • Provide more technical assistance to local businesses that have the potential to provide goods and services to the traded economies.

Philanthropic Venture Fund Create a philanthropic venture fund to invest in locally based, pre-screened, start-up companies which would be supported and monitored by a qualified not-for-profit.

credit: Irene Tena, CommNexus

Participating companies would be committed to building their business here in San Diego County as a requirement for funding. The highly successful model, EvoNexus, which has supported 24 new companies, helped them secure $82 million in capital, and created more than 300 jobs in relatively short order, is a good example.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

Big Ideas Rich, Vibrant Infill Development Weave together all that we love about welldesigned neighborhoods – layout, multiple uses, walkability, vibrancy, proximity to transit options, and the sense of community. Then leverage new technology and develop neighborhoods to be rich with energy and life. As an example, nearly two-thirds of Show Your Love responses agreed that Qualcomm Stadium could be redeveloped into a vibrant new town center with jobs and housing.

#2: Housing Options Match What People Want and Can Afford Potential strategies to achieve goal #2: 1. Continue to develop and refine region-wide goals for the amount and type of housing needed for the long-term growth. 2. Enhance regional collaboration to identify locations to accommodate growth, through expanded development in existing communities, and strategic new growth. 3. Continue to identify and reduce barriers (regulatory costs, uncertainty, and approval delay) to housing development. 4. Reduce transportation costs by locating more new housing near jobs and public transportation, and new jobs and public transportation near housing. 5. Reduce household utility costs by helping residents identify ways to save energy and water.

credit: Fregonese Associates

Potential new development replacing Qualcomm Stadium, as depicted in the online choosing.

6. Explore elements of Our Greater San Diego Vision to include in the next RCP update. Supporting actions to consider: • Expand transportation investments that align housing growth with existing and future transit. • Work with larger employers to implement EmployerAssisted Housing Programs. • Promote small-scale infill, such as mother-in-law apartments. • Set local and regional housing goals that result in a mix of price and type. • Explore a variety of approaches, including increased rentals, co-housing, ground leases, and land trusts. • Explore cooperative housing agreements between local jurisdictions. • Collaboratively identify and pursue government grants, financing, infrastructure assistance, and tax credits.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

#3: A Quality Learning Environment Effectively Prepares People for Life

* Indicates specific strategies and actions that were part of the Show Your Love campaign and were supported by people across the region.

Potential strategy to achieve goal #3:

Potential strategy to achieve goal #3:

1. Explore and implement innovative opportunities to personalize learning.*

3. Explore and implement innovative means to prepare learners for success in a global economy.*

Supporting actions to consider: • Teach each learner in the manner and style in which he/she learns best.* • Allow learners to move as fast as they are able, with advancement to new concepts based on mastery.* • Use technology to expand learning options, teach in personalized ways, connect learners with one another and with other places and countries, and continually assess competency.* • Expand the role of a teacher to include traditional roles such as direct instruction and mentorship, as well as new roles such as creating personalized learning plans, selecting optimal learning options, and analyzing assessment data. Potential strategy to achieve goal #3: 2. Explore and implement innovative opportunities to prepare children to learn.* Supporting actions to consider: • All parents are able to take advantage of affordable pre-natal care so that children are born healthy and ready to learn.* • Educate parents in how to best prepare their children to enter the education system.* • Prepare children for formal learning through universal pre-school and kindergarten education.*

Supporting actions to consider: • Teach multiple languages to all learners, and utilize technology to connect them to native speakers in other countries.* • Provide learners frequent opportunities to develop and practice workplace success skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork, communication, adaptability and resilience, creativity, and information analysis.* • Engage learners in a variety of artistic and cultural experiences throughout their schooling. • Expose learners to a number of career options, provide career planning, and give opportunities for career mentorship through business partnerships and on-line resources. • Evaluate learning options and outcomes against international best practices. Potential strategy to achieve goal #3: 4. Explore and implement innovative opportunities for universal post-secondary learning.* Supporting actions to consider: • Prepare all students for post-secondary education using rigorous curricula, high-quality learning options, and world-class instruction.* • Provide apprenticeship options which provide individuals with employable skills.* Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

Big Ideas Establish a Public Education Fund As demonstrated by the Choosing results, San Diegans are ready for innovation and experimentation in education. Creating a local public education fund that blends public and private resources would support and encourage cutting-edge education practices and ensure all learners are able to access a wide array of high-quality offerings. San Diego remains the only major metropolitan area in the nation that does not have a public education fund.

Supporting actions to consider: • Encourage competition to drive quality, innovation, and affordability among providers.* • Provide guidance to learners and parents to help them navigate and select options, and change options when appropriate.* • Create systems where education providers are held responsible for stated outcomes and quality measures, but have flexibility in content and delivery methods. • Provide learning options in a variety of settings such as museums, libraries, public service departments, community centers, and small and large businesses – in addition to public and private schools. Potential strategy to achieve goal #3: 6. Promote learning about the arts, civics, culture, and healthy lifestyles.* Supporting actions to consider:

• Provide learning options which allow people to acquire and improve skills as changes occur in the economy or in their interests, employment or career status.* • Provide career and educational counseling, financial assistance, and mentoring programs to students long before they finish secondary education. • Ensure everyone has affordable access to learning offerings throughout their lives. Potential strategy to achieve goal #3: 5. Explore and implement innovative opportunities to expand the marketplace of learning options.*


• Integrate arts, civics, culture, and healthy lifestyle learning as elements of each school’s activities, curriculum, mission, and teacher training.* • Through the specific involvement of community and cultural organizations, promote and expand activities, resources, and programs that focus on this goal and that are accessible to all people.* • Support existing collaboratives working to increase school districts’ capacity for K-12 arts education. • Increase professional development opportunities for teachers in methods that use the arts to teach math, science, technology, engineering, and social studies. • Support more partnerships between area higher education institutions and the arts community.

Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

#4: Neighborhoods are Safe, Vibrant and Convenient Centers of Community Life, Arts and Culture Potential strategy to achieve goal #4: 1. Create community through culture, the arts and education. Supporting actions to consider: • Initiate a region-wide assessment of the region’s arts and cultural assets, needs, opportunities, and resources, and establish an agenda for the future. • Encourage the adoption of arts-friendly public policies in every municipality. • Increase the availability of social gathering spaces and places – formal and informal – in which arts and cultural activities can take place.

* Indicates specific strategies and actions that were part of the Show Your Love campaign and were supported by people across the region.

Big Ideas Create and Integrate Arts Districts Within city centers, plan and cultivate mixeduse areas with a high concentration of artists, cultural facilities and creative industries, to attract and retain a young, creative and highly educated workforce. The arts will play a critical role in establishing a network of places that are vibrant centers of culture, creativity and innovation. This could be modeled after the I.D.E.A. District in San Diego: a living laboratory that fosters creative and collaborative energy in innovation, design, education, and the arts.

• Invest in cultural organizations and artist-run venues that advance individual creativity and innovation. • Increase the placement of works of art in neighborhood and community settings to reflect the diverse history, cultures and peoples of the region. • Enhance a sense of “place” by encouraging excellence in architecture and thoughtful historic preservation. • Explore “big ideas” that promote cultural tourism and showcase the region’s creativity, multi-national culture and unique history. • Create a cultural vitality measurement system to track the ongoing health of the arts, culture and creative industries. Potential strategy to achieve goal #4: 2. Promote and facilitate renewal of existing communities through targeted development.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

Supporting actions to consider: • Enhance community character and neighborhood identity by encouraging high standards of excellence for architecture and streetscape design. • Identify targeted areas for renewal, and encourage and incentivize development in those areas. • Collaborate to implement community plans. • Retrofit existing commercial roadways to accommodate pedestrian and bike facilities. • Invest in public amenities to attract people to targeted areas. • Leverage regional investments in transportation through targeted local improvements such as parks and open space, streetscape, schools, and community centers. Potential strategy to achieve goal #4: 3. Retrofit existing neighborhoods and design new neighborhoods to locate housing, amenities, shopping, transit, and current or future job centers close together. Supporting actions to consider: * Indicates specific strategies and actions that were part of the Show Your Love campaign and were supported by people across the region.

• Encourage, incentivize, and fund demonstration projects that promote compact, transit-oriented, walkable, and bicycle-friendly land uses, with a range of housing choices. • Encourage and incentivize development projects that locate housing, cultural and civic amenities, shopping, transit, and jobs close together. • Implement infrastructure financing methods to leverage transit-oriented development and increase private investment. • Improve pedestrian and bike access to transit stations and mixed-use districts, and ensure connections to and through residential areas. • Plan land-use and transportation investments to protect, integrate with, and create access to nature.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

#5: Nature Is Accessible, Connected, and Protected for People to Enjoy Potential strategy to achieve goal #5: 1. Support ongoing conservation and protection of natural resources as a top priority.* Supporting actions to consider: • Collaborate regionally to identify and preserve additional key open space areas.

• Continue to enhance and improve the existing park and open space infrastructure. Potential strategy to achieve goal #5: 4. Plan land-use and transportation investments to protect, integrate, and create access to nature. Supporting actions to consider:

• Establish comprehensive funding mechanisms for protecting, acquiring, improving, and maintaining parks, open space and trails.

• Consider protection of, integration with, and access to nature in land-use and transportation planning.

• Create incentives to encourage higher density in concert with conservation and habitat preservation in key areas.

• Connect people to natural areas with regional way-finding, educational and interpretive signage.

Potential strategy to achieve goal #5: 2. Complete efforts to create a regional open space trail network that links beaches, bays, canyons, mountains, rivers, and parks.* Supporting actions to consider: • Target land acquisition and dedicate funding to continue the creation of a connected system of accessible open space. • Collaborate regionally to create a comprehensive network of pedestrian and bicycle trails. Potential strategy to achieve goal #5: 3. Ensure all residents are provided information about and have access to parks and open space locally and regionally.*

Big Ideas Create a Regional System of Connected Parks and Trails Target land acquisition and dedicate funding to create even more of a connected system of accessible open spaces from the mountains to the beaches. Projects of this kind increase accessibility to nature, provide active and healthy-living recreation choices, and protect sensitive natural and cultural resources. A great example is Otay Valley Regional Park: A multi-jurisdictional effort resulting in a regional park surrounding the Otay River valley from the Otay Lakes to South San Diego Bay.

Supporting actions to consider: • Continue to identify and prioritize development of recreational opportunities in areas lacking parks and open spaces. • Continue outreach to connect residents to recreation and open space opportunities available for their enjoyment.

credit: www.ovrp.org

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

#6: Convenient Transportation Choices Are Available for People to Go Where They Want Potential strategies to achieve goal #6: 1. Connect people to major regional amenities through transportation and technology.*

7. Plan and design transit corridors to meet the needs of a full range of users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and transit riders.

2. Expand regional open space, arts, community, and cultural amenities as needed so that capacity keeps up with demand. *

8. Explore which elements of Our Greater San Diego Vision could be incorporated into the next revision of the regional transportation plan.

3. Consider building a new international airport.*

Supporting actions to consider:

4. Balance growth throughout the urban areas of the county.*

• Retrofit existing commercial roadways to accommodate denser uses, and pedestrian and bike facilities.

5. Continue to expand all modes of transportation to meet regional needs.

• Consider connecting the airport, or an additional airport, to rail transit.

6. Increasingly tie transportation planning to regional goals such as economic development, housing affordability, and conservation.

• Consider implementing road-use pricing to manage congestion.

Big Ideas Inter-City Rail Based upon 4:1 support in the Choosing, the region should consider a convenient travel alternative to the automobile, allowing travel to other places in California without the frustration of driving in traffic. Riding in a comfortable rail car provides the opportunity to connect to the office, read a book, or simply relax. Rapid, convenient rail service to Los Angeles and other California cities will also connect job clusters and improve business access, promoting economic development. Various technology options should be explored to determine their costs and benefits.


• Connect public transportation to existing attractions and locate future attractions near public transportation. • Make real-time transit information readily available to users. • Plan new housing, employment, and services near transit corridors such as the Sprinter Line. • Invest in bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

credit: California High Speed Rail Authority

Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 5 Supporting the Vision’s Goals

* Indicates specific strategies and actions that were part of the Show Your Love campaign and were supported by people across the region.

#7: Trusted Regional Leadership, Collaboration, and Participation Create a Future that Fulfills People’s Hopes and Dreams Potential strategies to achieve goal #7: 1. Establish trusted facilitators to continue bringing together residents and regional stakeholders in a collaborative environment. 2. Increase public participation and engagement in finding and implementing solutions. 3. Provide a means for assessing and reporting progress toward regional goals.

Big Ideas Regional Comprehensive Plan The San Diego region enjoys a significant amount of regional collaboration, which is reflected in the RCP. Our Greater San Diego Vision provides substantial data, engagement methods, goals, strategies, and actions that can inform the next update of the RCP. The RCP could include elements to provide financing mechanisms and ensure implementation of the Vision.

Sub-Regional Visioning Efforts Support and promote visioning efforts in all areas of the county to continue community-based engagement and alignment with regional goals.




for the San Diego Region

Final July 2004

Our Greater San Diego Vision


The question is not whether the region will change; change is inevitable. Rather, the question is: What kind of change do we want to see? Do we want a future that meets our collective hopes, dreams, and values? Clearly, we have seen that San Diegans want to be engaged and to influence the future for the better.




From Mind to Matter


n it mu


ti o





Pursuing all of the seven core goals to fulfill our aspirations for the four focus areas will ultimately make the Vision a reality. The San Diego Foundation will continue in a leadership role to engage the community and partners to lead the region forward.


• Cultural and community amenities are part of community life and nature, and vital to attract and retain key employers.

ou sin g

ans • Tr

• Transportation choices connect homes and workplaces and provide access to nature.

bs Jo


Regional Collab ora tio n

• A good education is essential to getting a good job in order to afford a home in a good neighborhood with access to nature.


y Learning • ualit • Q ns io pt O

Collectively, San Diegans have formed a singular Vision that addressed the four focus areas (WELL) that led to the creation of the seven core goals. Yet the goals and the focus areas weave together in many ways:


Realizing the Vision



s • Natu re

l is A c c e s si b

Ce e •

e nt



The seven core goals describe a region we want in the future where all San Diegans Work, Enjoy, Live and Learn to the fullest.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


CHAPTER 6 Vision Forward

Collaborating for Our Future Our Greater San Diego Vision is a starting point to launch important conversations about issues and make critical choices to achieve the future we envision. The San Diego Foundation Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement (the Center) will continue mobilization of the San Diego region in the quest for solutions. It will be a hub of civic leadership – a place that generates information and ideas, spurs vigorous conversations about San Diego’s future, helps launch ambitious initiatives, and contributes to the development of action plans.

• San Diego has a history of innovation that boosts the local economy.

The Center will build on our robust history of San Diegans coming together to do great things and add to the myriad of forward-looking efforts going on today.

• We have a network of organizations that are protecting and connecting natural lands.

• Municipalities are working to develop community centers, diversify housing options and increase public transportation. • The region already has world-class education and research institutions. • SANDAG just dedicated $2.58 billion to expand non-automobile transportation and will be updating the Regional Comprehensive Plan.

The region’s many communities will participate and provide insight to deepen understanding of the most pertinent issues. Ongoing public engagement about values and priorities will ensure that the Vision is a living thing so that community’s aspirations and needs are met for generations to come.

The Ongoing Role of The San Diego Foundation Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement The Center will provide a new framework for community problem-solving, civic education, and policy analysis. The Center will work with other institutions and individual leaders, serve as a place to bring together different ideas and perspectives, mobilize philanthropic support, and pursue other resources to protect and enhance our quality of life. Main activity areas will be: convenings, cutting-edge research, major forums, strategic and proactive grantmaking, informing regional public policy, assisting sub-regional visioning efforts, and communications.


Our Greater San Diego Vision

CHAPTER 6 Vision Forward

Achieving the Vision Together, San Diegans have once again looked to the future with hopes tempered by concerns. And once again, we have envisioned a path to a bright future where everyone will have rich and varied opportunities to work, enjoy, live and learn. Aspirational and inspirational must become creational. Now – together – we must make this vision become our future. We owe that to ourselves, our neighbors, our children, and our grandchildren. The crafting of Our Greater San Diego Vision is complete, but the work – our work – has just begun.

Our Greater San Diego Vision


Community Ambassadors The Vision would not be possible without the ideas, perspectives and insights of those committed and passionate volunteers from all walks of life represented on the Regional Vision Group, the Regional Vision Council and the Task Forces. They represent what is best about our region: civic-minded individuals dedicated to creating a better future for our children and grandchildren. Craig Adams

Anamaria Cabato

Jo Marie Diamond

Robert Gleason

Jennifer Adams-Brooks

Mark Cafferty

Olga Diaz

Gerardo Godinez

Armin Afsahi

Josie Calderon-Scott

Julie Dillon

Cindy Gompper-Graves

Brian Albright

Beth Callender

Kathryn Dodson

Irma Gonzalez

Scott Alevy

Peter Callstrom

Stephen Doyle

Lorena Gonzalez

Tim Allen

Mike Carlisle

Berit Durler

Diane Goostree

Deirdre Alpert

Sophia Carrillo

Steve Duval

Stedman Graham

Bill Anderson

Constance Carroll

Robert Dynes

Carrie Grote

JosĂŠ Aponte

Tony Casciato

John Eger

Todd Gutschow

Paola Avila

Dan Cayan

Sanford Ehrlich

Benjamin Haddad

Mary Ball

Ted Chan

Megan Ekard

Michael Hager

Mary Ann Barnes

Kelsey Chase

Joan Embery

Kevin Ham

Diane Barragan

Carmen Chavez

Marti Emerald

Andy Hamilton

Ruben Barrales

Norma Chavez Peterson

Steven Erie

Victoria Hamilton

Richard Barrera

LaVonna Connelly

Vicki Estrada

Sherman Harmer

Deborah Barrow

Hugh Constant

David Estrella

Kevin Harris

Murtaza Baxamusa

Alana Coons

Jim Farley

Taha Hassane

Larry Baza

Paula Cordeiro

Cheri Fidler

Lorie Hearn

Michael Beck

Myrian Solis Coronel

Bill Figge

Paul Hernandez

Josephine Bennett

Carina Courtright

Adrian Fischer

Ed Herrera

Ann Berchtold

Cheryl Cox

Aurelia Flores

Bella Heule

Laurie Berman

Clare Crawford

Judy Forrester

Jerry Hoffmeister

Laurie Black

Jose Cruz

Marye Anne Fox

Brian Holland

Howard Blackson

Melanie Bell Cruz

William D. French

Dan Hom

Ken Blanchard

Stephen Cushman

Patricia Frischer

Clovis HonorĂŠ

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Bud Mehan

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Donna Tisdale

Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade Bill Walton Randy Ward James Waring Joseph Watson Stuart Wells Constance White Sam Williams Maurice Wilson Susan Wolking Leon Wu Christopher Yanov Michael Yee Peter Zahn

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Our Greater San Diego Vision


Thank you for supporting Our Greater San Diego Vision! Community Partners Malin Burnham

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Yamila M. Ayad

Jim Farley

Nancy A. Spector

Robert Dynes, PhD, Vice Chair, Center for Civic Engagement

Darcy C. Bingham

Bill Geppert

Horacio Valeiras

James Cahill

Benjamin Haddad

Carisa Wisniewski

John Cambon, PhD

Kevin Harris

James Ziegler

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Ted Chan, MD

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Kay Chandler

Paul Meyer

Richard A. Collato

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Roger C. Cornell, MD

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Sandra Daley, MD

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Bill Geppert, Chair

Jennifer Adams-Brooks

Gerald (Jerry) E. Hoffmeister

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Bob Kelly, President and CEO

Mary Ball

Peter James MacCracken, APR

Steven R. Smith

Robert Dynes, PhD

Connie Matsui

Charles “Muggs” Stoll

Kevin Harris

Kris Michell

Garry Ridge, Vice Chair, Charitable Giving and External Relations Steven R. Smith, Vice Chair, Secretary John D. Wylie, Vice Chair, Finance Gerald (Jerry) E. Hoffmeister, Immediate Past Chair

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The San Diego Foundation Vision Staff Daniel Beintema, Vice President, Operations & Community Partnerships

Lori Holt Pfeiler, Associate Vice President, Our Greater San Diego Vision

Anna-Marie Rooney, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Emily Young, PhD, Senior Director, Environment Program

Heather Back, Associate Vice President, Marketing & Communications

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Our Greater San Diego Vision


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