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Fixing San Diego To Accommodate A Million More People

Above: A view of the San Diego skyline from across the bay.

A series of public forums drew hundreds of people from around San Diego County this week. They were asked to come up with a plan to accommodate 1.3 million more residents in the region over the next 40 years. That's nearly the current size of the city of San Diego.

The public workshops were held in six communities across the county and are the culmination of nearly two years of research and study into the economic, educational and infrastructure needs of the greater San Diego region.

More than 100 people gathered in the Cooper room at the San Diego Concourse Wednesday morning downtown. Their challenge was to locate where job and housing growth will occur over the next 40 or 50 years in San Diego, and create a plan of action.

Brandi Marcoe from City Heights said transportation is a huge issue. "I know people that commute an hour each way to and from their home to work," said Marcoe. "I'd like to see people work closer to where they live, and live closer to where they work. So they have more time to do things they enjoy doing," Marcoe said.

Sam Lyon is a fifth year urban planning student at UC San Diego in La Jolla. "I really want to see more public space in my neighborhood. The public space is limited to a mall, the UTC mall," said Lyon. "It's great, but if you're not buying something, you don't get the sense you're really welcome."

April Gabrielle-Davis lives in Chula Vista in the South Bay. "I just want to say I'm glad for this opportunity, and I hope when other people see me involved that it will entice them to get involved as well," said Gabrielle-Davis.

Mary Ball, vice president of the San Diego Foundation said 70 percent of our future population growth is expected to come from within the county. "From people who live here today having children. We're going to need to create a half-million new jobs in the next 40 years," said Ball. "We're going to have to create 400,000 new homes for people to live. And what we heard from people is we're worried about that change, we're worried there's not a plan for our region."

Public feedback from the visionary forums will help shape a menu of choices in November. That's when the general public will be asked to prioritize the vision for civic leaders to consider. You can voice your choice and see what others have to say about San Diego's future at: www.ShowyourloveSD.org.

The work on Our Greater San Diego Vision began in 2010 with research that revealed 78 percent of residents feel a long-range plan is needed to guide the region's future. The initiative is supported by The San Diego Foundation.

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