San Diego's Unique Density Dilemma

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San Diego's Unique Density Dilemma

Urban designer Howard Blackson joined us on the podcast this week to chat about how to make San Diego’s neighborhood more transit-oriented, and why he really doesn’t like the word “density.”

For Howard Blackson, an urban designer and former strategist for the now-defunct Civic Innovation Lab, there’s a dirty word in San Diego development: density.

He says San Diego has a unique angst about the “D” word because it’s perceived as threatening neighborhoods with over-development.

READ MORE: ‘We’re the Guys Who Want to Make Your Neighborhood Fun’

But Blackson says the term is misunderstood: “Density is a way to measure something after it’s been built,” he told us on this week’s VOSD Radio podcast. “It is not a tool to design something to be built.”

By changing up the term and adopting better policies, Blackson thinks progress can be made in San Diego’s quest to make neighborhoods more transit-oriented.

Blackson talked with podcast co-hosts Scott Lewis, Caty Green and Andrew Keatts about the future of development, Bob Filner’s legacy on neighborhoods and why planning director Bill Fulton’s resignation didn’t surprise him.

Jump to 22:08 to hear what Blackson had to say.

Download the episode below, or look it up on Stitcher or on iTunes. While you’re there, leave us some feedback and let us know how we’re doing.

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Show Notes

• Here’s that video GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari put out this week, documenting his homeless, jobless week on the streets of Fresno.

• In a new court filing related to San Diego’s campaign finance scandal, the Mexican businessman accused of illegal donations finally gave his side of the story. Here’s who Jose Susmo Azano Matsura says set him up.

• This week’s Fact Check debunked a claim about just how many veterans live in San Diego. Read it here.

• Our Hero of the Week is our own Liam Dillon, who’s celebrating five years at Voice of San Diego. Keep up on his latest in investigative reporting here.

• San Diego County juvenile detention centers are our collective Goat of the Week for their aggressive use of pepper spray on kids in facilities. Read CityBeat’s coverage of the alleged abuse and the recently filed complaints here.

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