Is Your City an Innovator or a Follower?

Howard Blackson walks through the planning layers of San Diego for a history lesson as well as a look to the Next Urbanism.
kellinahandbasket / Flickr

"My city's downtown is built on decades of layers. Planning trends layered upon planning trends. Over its history, through a long list of award-winning vision plans, San Diego has earnestly followed what every other city has done."

Not without merit, San Diego's past inspiration has often been exceptional, from Nolen to Fregonese. Urbanist Howard Blackson examines the city's history a decade at a time, pointing to sources:

"I recognized these trends while comparing our city to Barcelona's cityscape, with its Roman Core, Cerde's grid, and new Olympic Village layers and I ended up feeling better about San Diego (sometimes familiarity breeds contempt). We do have multiple layers of history wrapped into our city over a very short time period. The questionable part is how we continue our efforts to follow other cities' successful trends in the name of chasing economic development, over and over again."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Next Urbanism Lab: The Layers that Built San Diego

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