A group of architects, designers and urban planners are working together in San Diego's Upper East Village to produce the Idea District. Started over four years ago, the project was introduced by Pete Garcia and David Malmuth as a way of revitalizing the area and creating a place for the convergence of innovative people. The Idea District, comprising an area surrounded by 11th St, C Street, Market St and Interstate-5, was originally an undeveloped parcel of land, “the last of its kind” in San Diego. Creators began gathering, seeing this no-man’s land as an opportunity to develop good urban planning.
The East Village of San Diego began as a mixed-use neighborhood in the 1900s, developing into a commercial district in the 50s before experiencing a mass exodus and subsequent urban decay in the 70s. Since then, there has been a slow revitalization of the area, and the Idea District is an attempt at harkening back to the truly mixed-use, integrated neighborhood feeling of the 1900s, with the intervention of modern technology and new-urbanism principles.
The project has already developed several areas, particularly in an area known as “Maker’s Quarter,” which includes the Quartyard, a meeting place for all demographics; the FabLab, a community fabrication lab where entrepreneurs and innovators can develop their ideas; the Urban Discovery Academy, a school for young people to learn in new ways; and the Smart Farm, a community garden.
As of now, the Idea District is still growing and changing, the latest development being the implementation of “Idea1,” an urban plan that focuses on opportunities to run into others. Watch Breadtruck Films' video above to learn more.