Tourism growth, sports complex high on list of future desires
By Anthony King | Downtown News
The San Diego Foundation released preliminary results from their Our Greater San Diego Vision campaign, an online survey that generated more than 30,000 responses. The two-year, $2 million campaign is being implemented to shape a 50- to 100-year strategic action plan regarding growth in the San Diego region
“The sheer number of responses has inspired us,” campaign Chair Bill Geppert said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to announce that the response to this survey positions San Diego as the national leader among regions that have engaged in vision campaigns.”
Beginning in November 2011, the 10-week survey generated more than 71,000 individual, hypothetical scenarios regarding issues ranging from education; community and cultural amenities; jobs and economic growth; to future land use for San Diego.
“Tens of thousands of people in our community have participated in Our Greater San Diego Vision,” San Diego Foundation President and CEO Bob Kelly said in the release. “This level of diverse engagement shows that people do care about their region and their community, now and for future generations.”
Preliminary results show water conservation, accessible transportation and affordable housing were most important for survey takers. In addition, initial data suggests there is a high preference among survey takers to grow the capacity for people to live closer to their places of employment.
Lori Holt Pfeiler, vice president of the Our Greater San Diego Vision campaign said, of the responses, 49 percent came from downtown neighborhoods.
Regarding downtown, specific issues survey takers focused on included tourism and a new sports and entertainment complex, among others. Over 22 percent ranked promoting “innovation, military and tourism,” as an important focus for the City. Scenarios surrounding “harnessing the power of innovation” and “support our local economy” ranked slightly higher. Of least importance was the creation of a “cross-border mega-region,” the preliminary results show.
When survey takers were asked to rank the importance of a new sports and entertainment complex for the area being “world class” and to “attract major cultural and sporting events such as the World Cup, NCAA tournaments and Super Bowls,” 50 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed, while 23 percent said they were neutral.
The survey also identified a new University in the South Bay as a high priority, which is one example of how education scored high among survey takers. Results show many stated a need to be assured opportunities exist through education that develop workplace skills, including critical thinking, creativity, teamwork and communication.
“Overall,” Kelly said in the release, “we couldn’t be more enthusiastic. What a wonderful opportunity for all San Diegans to have a voice in our future, how we live, where we live and what we do. We’re excited to engage the here and now generation to help shape San Diego for the next generation and the many generations that will follow.”
The completed document will be presented by the Foundation in early summer. Interactive scenarios of future development, based on the survey results, as well as more information on the project can be found at ourgreatersandiegovision.org.