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San Diego's Measure E Can Help Us Meet Our Climate Action Plan Goals

Created: 05 October, 2020
Updated: 14 August, 2022
2 min read

This is independent opinion. Have one of your own? Email it to hoa@ivn.us

San Diego is at a crossroads on climate change. With heat storms and wildfires showcasing our world to come, we must carefully plan how to adapt and implement our city’s landmark Climate Action Plan, while still providing opportunities for our children and grandchildren to live and work in our community. This requires thoughtful consideration for safety, sustainability, and equity in how we plan for a San Diego that is resilient to the climate crisis.

Measure E—the ballot measure to lift the 30 height limit in the Midway District—is an example of climate-resilient planning that can help us meet our Climate Action Plan goals and advance greater social equity. How so?

First, let’s explore how our land use and transportation history has brought us to this moment.

For the past century, San Diego has built endless car-dependent sprawl. This type of development has exasperated the climate crisis by forcing millions of San Diegans to rely solely on car transportation. Each decade brought more sprawl, more cars, more emissions and air pollution, further diminishing our quality of life, especially for black, indigenous, and people of color in frontline communities of concern.

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We know these sprawling developments are unsustainable, and worsening climate change and environmental, social and racial inequities. To help undo and prevent further damage to our neighborhoods, the community came together to create a landmark Climate Action Plan (CAP) adopted by the city in 2015. In the CAP are key land use and transportation strategies for creating a healthier, more equitable and climate-friendly city, including measures for encouraging more folks to bike, walk and take transit.

Measure E will allow San Diegans to accomplish just that. More homes closer to good jobs and transit, along with enhanced bike, pedestrian and transit improvements, local parks, street trees, and more, can reduce emissions and improve our climate, health and quality of life. More affordable housing near transit and jobs also gives future generations more equitable economic and social opportunities, something that is limited today by our outdated planning policies.

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Like the CAP itself, Measure E is also an example of grassroots, community-led climate action. The Midway community planning group is leading the charge to support the measure to revitalize their neighborhood, setting a positive example for how communities can welcome new neighbors and meet our Climate Action Plan goals without sacrificing local control.

With Measure E, we can help meet our CAP and social equity goals, and revitalize the Midway District into a vibrant neighborhood that embraces proven climate-friendly community planning. This is our moment to show our children and grandchildren we are serious about saving San Diego for them. To adapt safely, grow sustainably and plan with equity in mind, San Diegans must take the first step by voting yes on Measure E.