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Downtown

Alt continues to make the most sense, even if there is part of me that wants it as part of a Rossdale redevelopment.

Regardless, Downtown needs more modern capacity to help feed retail and food options/
I don't mean to poke but what is the Rossdale redevelopment you're referring to? I feel out of the loop on that one.
 
That's fantastic news and here's hoping they can draw folks outside of shows. I've always loved that odd space and used to love doing a pre-drink there.
 
Not much, but Imagine a new hotel like that near the Leg, river, ballpark and a something cool in the power plant.
Oh thanks for the clarification. I thought for a minute there were some active, ongoing plans to actually do something with the use of the power plant.

I still consider the Rossdale and surrounding land to be arguably the greatest untapped potential not yet realized in the city. But that may be for another discussion/thread.
 
Imagine the ALT on the surface lot across from the Leg on 99ave/108st. That would be a spectacular site for a new hotel that would drive foot traffic around the Leg, maybe help lead to that long forgotten restaurant in the QE2 building and support 109st stuff.
 
In theory more residential should help, but even though quite a few more towers have been added downtown over the years, the number of retail stores in the area has declined considerably.
Now, it's obviously anecdotal, but I've been in San Diego for the past 10 days, in the heart of their downtown and here's one thing I learned:
Density in itself doesn't really do that much for vibrancy. They've got less towers, proportionally, than we do, but also far less parking lots and A LOT of mid-rise residential and a much nicer weather that Edmonton, but you walk around and won't see much more people out and about on the streets.
They do have a much healthier nightlife, but that's mainly due to people coming from outer neighborhoods (parking becomes a nightmare after 6 or 7pm) and tourists coming back from the beaches at night.

The one thing they've really nailed is cleanliness, the perception of safety and overall upkeep. The (not so) few parking lots they have are all paved and have half walls around them, sidewalks are impeccable, pavement is in perfect shape (okay, I know it's SoCal and they don't deal with frost-thaw cycles, but Calgary does and they manage to make it work).

It looks and feels very nice, even though it's just as lifeless (if not more) as Edmonton's. I would love to see how much more vibrant our DT would be if we were able to attract people from the outside of it to spend time there.
 
Now, it's obviously anecdotal, but I've been in San Diego for the past 10 days, in the heart of their downtown and here's one thing I learned:
Density in itself doesn't really do that much for vibrancy. They've got less towers, proportionally, than we do, but also far less parking lots and A LOT of mid-rise residential and a much nicer weather that Edmonton, but you walk around and won't see much more people out and about on the streets.
They do have a much healthier nightlife, but that's mainly due to people coming from outer neighborhoods (parking becomes a nightmare after 6 or 7pm) and tourists coming back from the beaches at night.

The one thing they've really nailed is cleanliness, the perception of safety and overall upkeep. The (not so) few parking lots they have are all paved and have half walls around them, sidewalks are impeccable, pavement is in perfect shape (okay, I know it's SoCal and they don't deal with frost-thaw cycles, but Calgary does and they manage to make it work).

It looks and feels very nice, even though it's just as lifeless (if not more) as Edmonton's. I would love to see how much more vibrant our DT would be if we were able to attract people from the outside of it to spend time there.

Arguably, the vibrancy in San Diego being comparable to Edmonton is a nod in favour of us. San Diego has double our population (metro), more livable year-round weather, and a much higher level of tourism and yet... Edmonton still is in the same ballpark despite all the cards stacked against us.
 
I know San Diego intimately for 30-odd years now. As a visitor you would totally miss the mark of this City -- it has a world class zoo and a ton of associated amenities in the same area; it has a world class Seaworld; it has a world-class Old-town, -- all of these encircling the downtown area. It has what as been described as the "goldilocks" climate -- not too hot; not too cold; just right. It has a vibrant mixed culture with a dominant hispanic vibe. The downtown as a pocket is very dense and plays off of all the other amenities. It has an extremely large naval base and port. Comparing San Diego to Edmonton in the current state is pointless -- they are world's apart. Edmonton has different goals and should not try to emulate San Diego.
 
I know San Diego intimately for 30-odd years now. As a visitor you would totally miss the mark of this City -- it has a world class zoo and a ton of associated amenities in the same area; it has a world class Seaworld; it has a world-class Old-town, -- all of these encircling the downtown area. It has what as been described as the "goldilocks" climate -- not too hot; not too cold; just right. It has a vibrant mixed culture with a dominant hispanic vibe. The downtown as a pocket is very dense and plays off of all the other amenities. It has an extremely large naval base and port. Comparing San Diego to Edmonton in the current state is pointless -- they are world's apart. Edmonton has different goals and should not try to emulate San Diego.
You seem to know everywhere intimately... one can't help but wonder how.

All of these amenities don't seem to reflect into having more pedestrian traffic, at least downtown. People still go mostly point-to-point by car, except for a few nodes that are more vibrant.

But if you want a better comparison, Vancouver has about the same population, a much less friendly weather and is a far younger city (as in the actual city was established much more recently). Yet, it's incredibly more vibrant, there's a much more intense "big city" vibe, the infrastructure for active transportation is a couple of orders of magnitude above San Diego's (hell, Edmonton's LRT feels like an upgrade on the San Diego Trolley, Especially considering the size difference between the cities).

You do have placed like Coronado and La Jolla that are nodes of vibrancy, but it's less than you'd expect for the city, when you compare it with cities of similar size. To say that Edmonton is in the same ballpark might be wrong, they're definitely ahead in many ways, but honestly, the perception, as a visitor, is that San Diego would be more comparable to Calgary than to Vancouver, which is to say that it is closer to Edmonton than it is to other cities of similar size. And that is considering all that San Diego has going for it in terms of nature and history (weather, international recognition, older settlement, coastal location, etc...).
 
You seem to know everywhere intimately... one can't help but wonder how.
Same could be said of you. Difference being that I happen to live in SoCal and have been here since 1987 (going on 37 years). So yes, I do know a thing or two about San Diego that you obviously do not -- I have actually worked on projects in that City
"Tourism Industry Facts- 2022: San Diego hosts 28.8 million visitors each year and is a top U.S. travel destination."; "Destination Vancouver says — in 2022 — the city hosted 8.8 million overnight visitors". The difference doesn't seem to reconcile with your thinking -- again throwing darts while blindfolded.
"The Los Angeles—San Diego—San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor is the second busiest intercity rail corridor in the nation supporting commuter, intercity, and freight rail services. It stretches 351- miles from San Diego to Luis Obispo, connecting major metropolitan areas of Southern California and the Central Coast." -- until very recently interrupted by the San Clemente landslide during the exceptionally heavy rains. Facts don't seem to be your friend!
 
I'm curious to know how many of those 28 million visitors were there for the San Diego Comic Con? It's now the Cannes Film Festival for geeks.
 
I'm curious to know how many of those 28 million visitors were there for the San Diego Comic Con? It's now the Cannes Film Festival for geeks.

Difference being that I happen to live in SoCal and have been here since 1987 (going on 37 years). So yes, I do know a thing or two about San Diego that you obviously do not -- I have actually worked on projects in that City
"Tourism Industry Facts- 2022: San Diego hosts 28.8 million visitors each year and is a top U.S. travel destination."; "Destination Vancouver says — in 2022 — the city hosted 8.8 million overnight visitors". The difference doesn't seem to reconcile with your thinking -- again throwing darts while blindfolded.
"The Los Angeles—San Diego—San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor is the second busiest intercity rail corridor in the nation supporting commuter, intercity, and freight rail services. It stretches 351- miles from San Diego to Luis Obispo, connecting major metropolitan areas of Southern California and the Central Coast." -- until very recently interrupted by the San Clemente landslide during the exceptionally heavy rains. Facts don't seem to be your friend!

I actually wonder how these visitor numbers are counted. San Diego International Airport counted around 15M passengers last year, and one can safely assume a lot of them are just layovers and connections. (For context, YVR had around 25M passengers in 2023).
I wonder if it makes sense to count visitors from Greater LA, for example, considering that Greater San Diego and Greater LA literally border each other. Would make much more sense to treat them as somewhat contiguous, since the distance between some points in these two areas is basically a commute.

Nevertheless, your facts actually support what I said: whatever vibrancy in their downtown seems to stem mostly from people coming to visit it, rather than DT residents. On weekdays, especially during office hours, when you wouldn't expect a lot of visitors (mostly because the main draw of their downtown area is restaurants and bars, which tend to be much busier at night and on weekends) there's not a lot of pedestrian or cycling traffic. You'll see very busy roads, with people driving everywhere, but their public transit, active transportation infrastructure and overall urban fabric is not conducive to consistent vibrancy, unlike, for example, Vancouver.

End of the day, the whole point of my comment is to point out that the perception of safety, the general cleanliness and upkeep of infrastructure can do wonders. You are so bloody thick that the whole point of the argument flew over your head: in a city that clearly does not really care about providing an urban experience to its residents, by making downtown a desirable area to visit (both by tourists and residents of the city's suburbs) is enough to support lots of businesses.

Now, if you bring this to a city that invests heavily (if not monetarily, at least politically) in improving the urban experience for its residents, instead of just catering to visitors, and you have enormous potential. Pound per pound, Edmonton's active transportation and public transit are already superior to San Diego's, and while sometimes misguided, or poorly executed, the city has been very keen on keep the momentum going, and on nice weather days, our DT feels about just as busy.

It is also a very interesting comparison because for different reasons, both cities have their employment centres more spread out, and closer to the edges of the city, with a relatively small number of office jobs concentrated downtown. So yeah, if Edmonton can learn from the good things San Diego does, I would call that a win.
 

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