50th anniversary of “Temporary Paradise?”
the 2024 San Diego/Tijuana World Design Capital, and the creation of the Sustainable Paradise fund and initiatives
In the 1970s San Diego and Tijuana were overwhelmed by new development. Canyons and hillsides uniquely characteristic of the region were razed to accommodate new roads and sprawl from the coastal plains, up the canyons, atop the mesas, and inland. Public facilities and services could not keep pace; students were bussed to overcrowded schools in older neighborhoods. Temporary police and fire stations were set up in suburban model homes, and the only evidence of other services and facilities were “Coming soon” signs. The downtown of the city of San Diego, at the same time, continued to decline. All this set the stage for a comprehensive look at where the region was headed.
In 1971, Pete Wilson was elected mayor of the city of San Diego, running on a platform of managing growth, revitalizing the city’s older neighborhoods, and redeveloping the downtown. In 1973, Hamilton and Mary Marston, the grandson and daughter of a former mayoral candidate and civic leader, George W. Marston, gave the city $10,000 to hire Donald Appleyard and Kevin Lynch and to conduct regional reconnaissance, identifying the region’s future challenges and opportunities, and addressing ideal policies without reference to their political practicality. On September 15, 1974, Lynch and Appleyard presented “Temporary Paradise?” to the city of San Diego, warning that unless the region took steps to guide growth and conserve resources, it would be a “temporary paradise”. Sadly, both authors died within a few years after its publication, with Donald Appleyard being killed by a speeding drunk driver in 1982.
Over its 50 years, “Temporary Paradise?” has served as a timeless, transcendent, and transformative vision plan for our transnational region that can serve as a road map on how to communicate our region’s best ideas through a poetic voice and engaging imagery that can effectively move us toward a future of sustainability, livability, and equity. For more information on its historic importance and influence, see this article: Towards the Dreams and Realities of Temporary Paradise?
It was also the first modern vision plan to advocate for one San Diego/Tijuana Region whose border should be “a zone of confluence” that shares its economy, environment, and cultures. Since 2016, Dr. Bruce Appleyard, Associate Professor of City Planning and Urban Design, who was 17 when his father was killed, has worked to develop a Declaration of Interdependence for San Diego/Tijuana to help transform San Diego/Tijuana and Calexico/Mexicali into truly transnational regions. If you would like to support the spirit intent of this declaration of interdependence, please click on this DOI comment/signing form where you can leave thoughts, comments and a signature.
Dr. Appleyard is also raising funds and leading a number of initiatives to both celebrate 50 years of the original “Temporary Paradise?” in 2024 (in concert with the SDTJ World Design Capital events) but also to inaugurate the development of a new “Temporary Paradise?” regional vision plan for the next 50 years, that will include multiple visions from our many designers and theorists on both sides of the border.
Along these lines, he is seeking donor support for the following activities:
- Establish and raise money for a “Sustainable Paradise Fund” in the spirit of “Temporary Paradise?”, Donald Appleyard, and Kevin Lynch to do the following:
- In celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Temporary Paradise and the WDC, we want to hold events to develop new sustainable, livable, and equitable vision plans for the San Diego/Tijuana and Calexico/Mexicali transnational regions for the next 50 years.
- Researching policy on how to equitably improve access to housing and the lives of the houseless throughout our region.
- Meeting our region and state’s climate action goals through better transportation and land use coordination
- How to transform San Diego/Tijuana and Calexico/Mexicali into truly transnational regions, guided by such writings by Dr. Bruce Appleyard as his Declaration of Interdependence for San Diego/Tijuana, which he has been working on since 2016. Also, please find this DOI comment/signing form where people can leave thoughts, comments and a signature if they would like to support the spirit intent of this declaration of interdependence.
- The publication of a compact “student version” of “Temporary Paradise?” that can be used by college and high school students throughout our multinational region, for which Dr. Appleyard is working to develop a curriculum for these students.
- Publication of a larger (11”x17”) commemorative reprinting of “Temporary Paradise?” that can be sold to support the Sustainable Paradise fund.
- Hold events throughout 2024 and beyond that can celebrate this timeless work and capture the best ideas of our multinational region for a new “Temporary Paradise?” vision plan for the next 50 years.
- Daylong workshop at SDSU where we brainstorm ideas and visions for the next 50 years that will also be a part of the larger Tijuana and San Diego juried design challenge (set for exhibition in September 2024): March 15, 2024
- Daylong workshop in Tijuana where we develop visions for the next 50 years: TBD
- Daylong workshop in Calexico/Mexicali where we develop visions for the next 50 years: TBD
- September 15, 2024: Pecha Kucha presentations at Bread & Salt precise 50th Anniversary of when "Temporary Paradise?" was published
- A regional design competition with awards and prize money where the results are displayed in the Baggage Building downtown (TBD). The winners would be announced in September of 2024 which would coincide with a gallery exhibition.
- Support students from around our multinational region to work on projects in the Action Institute for Sustainability, Livability, and Equity (AISLE). These projects will include:
- The fund will also support the following: