At a meeting of the San Diego Association of Governments, Committee on Binational Regional Opportunities (COBRO) on February 26th, lead by the Mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina, BFusion Economic Development Advisor, Flavio Olivieri participated in the Public Comments section with a message about using transportation planning as a tool for promoting inclusive economic growth strategies for San Diego´s South Bay. Present at the virtual meeting were the Mayors of Tijuana, Chula Vista, San Diego and many other public officials from the Federal and State Governments, including the Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez. You can see the complete meeting recording at: https://youtu.be/wF33kZRPDGU
Here is a transcript of Flavio Olivieri´s comments:
As a Chula Vista resident I want to urge The COBRO committee to increase the visibility in SANDAG’s planning efforts of the Economic Development perspective of the South Bay, tied to the opportunities of HIGH VALUE economic integration with Tijuana in the trade of services and cross-border cooperation of more knowledge and creativity-based industries, such as Software, Digital Media, Health, Education and Professional Services.
Tijuana is going through an Urban Renaissance. High rise buildings for residential and commercial use are being developed within a 2 mile radius of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. This new urban density and cosmopolitan environment is mostly attractive for younger populations of professionals and creative class.
Better integration with this new source of talent and entrepreneurship will greatly benefit the South Bay, from the Chula Vista bayfront project to redevelopment of San Ysidro, in attracting companies that can benefit from this cross-border integration.
Transportation Planning should be closely tied to an ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT long term vision. Inclusive growth and recovery should be privileged, leading to a change in paradigm.
New mass transportation infrastructure should not just be to resolve current inefficiencies of taking people to their Jobs, but to facilitate and promote the creation of high value work in their own communities, create development hubs, reduce commutes or even eliminate them.
Today the border is seen as the end of the line by SANDAG planners, instead of a destination of opportunity, a HUB or node thereby ignoring the reality of our BINATIONAL MEGA REGION.
CREATIVE industries – technology – human capital-based development – Tapping into talent sources should be a priority – in this regard SAN YSIDRO is a very strategic binational location.
I have been a binational economic development professional for 30 years, today as a research Fellow at UCSD-Center for US-Mexico Studies and Co-chair of the Binational Committee of the South County EDC. I see now how there is a HISTORIC window of opportunity to create a binational platform for joint value generation, co-innovation and increase opportunities for communities in a more inclusive growth strategy for the entire binational region. A platform that is people-centered, pedestrian focused, promoting mass transit, reducing use of automobiles, a cleaner environment and a better quality of life.