Much has already been said about Mayor Filner’s plan for the Plaza de Panama. City Beat provides a good overview of the plan. “sdurban” provides some of the best insight and observations written about the plan. The Plan is similar to the proposals posted here on GSSD. UPDATE: Filner Plan can be found online here:
What hasn’t been mentioned much about the plan is its execution. Mayor Filner’s willingness to experiment, to eschew the bureaucracy, to turn a deaf ear to the hand-wringers and nay-sayers, is as exciting as the plan is itself! Likewise, Filner calls on the plan to be implemented by Memorial Day – just one month after it’s unveiling. More than the plan itself, this bold, visionary, experimental approach by Filner may be the best thing to happened to San Diego, which is typically cautious by nature.
The Plan itself is a strong plan. It may not be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the beauty of it. By using a temporary, experimental approach, the plan can be put in place quickly, at low cost, and can be refined and tweaked as community feedback comes in.
In its own way, it is the crowd-sourcing of the design. Already some excellent ideas were presented by the audience at the unveiling. Instead of a plan imposed on San Diego, it will ultimately be a plan created by San Diegans.
The innovative and experimental approach of the plan is an exciting milestone for San Diego. And the focus of the plan is an exciting turning point for San Diego’s public realm. The real beauty of the plan is that it puts people first instead of cars. It still makes room for cars, but it says to people, “You matter most”. And that is how ALL design should begin.