We are very pleased to announce that I.D.E.A. Vision 2.0 is now up on our website. What convinced us that the we needed to update this vision?
It has been 18 months since the release of the first Vision Document, and it is clear that our thinking, and the world, has evolved over that time. We are now convinced that the jobs cluster that has the greatest opportunity for growth in downtown San Diego lies at the intersection of design and technology. Evidence is mounting that these kinds of companies — including digital advertising, software design, video gaming, cybersecurity, and medical wireless — are already seeking downtown locations. In fact, 170,000 square feet of downtown space has been leased to tech companies over the past 18 months. But the opportunity is much greater if we can both build the kind of creative space that these workers are seeking, and nurture the urban vibrancy that is critical to making downtown a jobs magnet.
It is also evident that smart cities, and smart companies, understand the absolute imperative of growing, attracting, and retaining the best talent. And increasingly, the most creative and highly educated young individuals want to be in an urban environment So, the most important economic development strategy of the 21st century will be building the kinds of urban environments that deliver experiences that can draw and anchor talent. In that regard, downtown San Diego has many natural attributes, but we still have work to do.
Most of our thinking about the underlying principles of the I.D.E.A. District has remained in tact;indeed, extensive conversations with numerous stakeholders and potential partners, plus in depth study of additional case studies, has confirmed that we are on the right track. We are even more optimistic, if that is possible, about the potential for this big, bold economic development initiative to bring jobs and prosperity to the region. However, we are also mindful that this opportunity will be squandered if we don’t take intentional action now because apartment development is beginning to gobble up the available sites.
We are committed to making 2013 a year of great progress for I.D.E.A. District, and we’re hopeful that placing this revised Vision Document on the website in a user-friendly fashion will encourage more engagement and feedback from the community. So, let us know what you think.