Cover Story — December 2012 | San Diego Metro Magazine

27/01/2013 2:02
You’ll have to excuse me if these next few items aren’t timely. I save them when I see them and rarely have time to post them.  Regardless of when they were written they’re still very pertinent.

A very pertinent article reiterating the need for natural public spaces within the urban environment and what happens to the population when  they are removed or commercialised

Full article can be read from the link above. 

The end of November marked the beginning of construction of a new public plaza in Downtown San Diego………This and other recent examples point to our recent re-understanding of parks, plazas and open spaces as critical components of our urban environment. The San Diego Union editorialized: “Park improvement is among the most important undertakings now before the city. It should have the cordial co-operation of all.”

…… More recently, a column in the San Diego Union-Tribune asked, “What, then, is the measure of a great city or region? Its education systems? Its arts? Its business inventiveness? All of the above, but the most overlooked measure is a city’s dedication to public space.” 
……There is also a growing awareness that the quality of the public realm is a critical element in quality economic development. People want to be in places where they can feel comfortable and enjoy. These spaces can be parks, plazas, and our canyons and even pleasant sidewalks. And they want these things nearby to where they live and work…….. Richard M. Daley, the former mayor of Chicago, put it this way: “Having a place to relax, play, take part in community events and participate in sports and recreational activities is truly key to an individuals well-being and the overall health of a community.”
……The addition to Horton Plaza is an example of a very different approach — a park replacing a not-so-old department store in an active, vibrant shopping center. Another example is the recent action by the San Diego City Council to dedicate more than 6,000 acres of open space under the auspices of Sen. Christine Kehoe’s Senate Bill 323, and the advocacy of the Canyonlands Organization. The goal of the Canyonlands group is to connect our canyons to our neighborhoods.

Preservation of our canyons and hillsides is a long-standing and continuing initiative of the region. Perhaps why we do it can best be summed up by the following from the 2006 report by the group San Diego Civic Solutions, “Canyonlands, The Creation of a San Diego Regional Canyonlands Park”: “Our canyons bring us nourishment, maintain our health and ventilate our lives. They are our lungs and bronchial tubes.” And the canyons define our neighborhoods and provide us with nearby nature…….

Tess Michaels