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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

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Our Greater San Diego Vision-Full Report  

San Diego County is a vast area of more than4,500 square miles, larger than the states of RhodeIsland and Delaware combined. The region isho...

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