May 30, 2008

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

A Sustainable Barrio Logan?

While it seems as if the city appears to be planning to overly, onto the barrios south of I-8, the same old vanilla-tapioca ‘city of villages’ idea they have been pushing, so hard, on many other sections of our city — the pre-redevelopments populations continue to resist the idea of uncharacteristically blocky monolithic pastel-colored one-size fits all buildings force into unique sets of community aesthetes.

We believe that the City of San Diego does not have the water or the infrastructure to support the increase in either population or expansion (development). And so, the use of words such as durability and affordability while linked to the creation of service industry jobs set into store fronts placed below units above which will cost more than the unlivable wages service industry jobs provide (much less the lack of benefits typically associated with service industry jobs) their plan seems to guarantee the exclusion of the pre-development/redevelopment populations in the newly created post-development environments.

Perhaps, IF we could point these city planners towards the construction and inclusion of community gardens, small water reclamations/reuse sites, composting and green/shade spaces, solar electric / photo-voltaic…, zero-carbon footprint planning (City Planning in a Zero Water Environment) words such as durability and sustainability would attach to their projects in ways that are more realistic. But, with only a hand full of lone voices screaming into the rain, which appears to be a city planning storm (whatever drives it) of exclusion of the most populace voice in each community, there is little hope that we will service the coming storm of development/redevelopment in the Barrios of San Diego. We will face shortages in both food affordability and water availability in our very near future (very soon), the question we ask is “Why does it seem we, as a city, are not dealing with the conditions of this future reality in our community planning?”

With green planning “City Planning in a Zero Water Environment” we can create and truly livable region – creating much of its own food and power, and insure that we continue to have some 85% (or more) of the present populations living in the area ‘POST Development/Redevelopment.’ We can find no reason that the inclusion of at least 85% of pre-development populations can not be part of a new community plan.

If the city can not insure that at least 85% of the present population will be able to — as comfortable live (at better levels of housing space and costs they presently exist at) in the development/redevelopment area ‘post – development/redevelopment’ than we have no choice but to believe that the gentrification, which appears to typically follow development/redevelopment, is part of the very design of our city’s planners. IF the present populations does not realize a better quality of life with better personal levels of housing space available to them with lower cost and greater affordability, then we believe redevelopment has failed and the construction of a community plan that allows for increased levels of stress and/or the gentrification of the community is a failure.

What can the community contribute to the creation of a new community plan when they are not allowed to ask questions until after most of them leave (holding meetings during on a workday); and even then, the questions are not answered by those directing/controlling these meetings they are deflected and/or deferred? Perhaps in a forum in which community members control and direct the access to expression - the value of those expressions what the community wants and demands will be made more apparent?

Gregory Morales
San Diego - Barrio Logan

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