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Planning, Visioning & the Future

of Inland Southern California

November 19, 2013

William FultonWilliam Fulton, nationally known planner and the Planning Director of the City of San Diego, discussed “Planning, Visioning & the Future of Inland Southern California” at the Nov. 19 Randall Lewis Seminar.

Changing demographics and attitiudes among the Millennial Generation -- generally considered those young adults now aged 19 to 29 -- could present challenges to primarily suburban areas as the Inland Empire, Mr. Fulton said.

Single-family homes in a suburban setting -- the mainstay of Inland Southern California -- will likely be less attractive to Millennials, many of whom shun homeownership. While a single-family home will still be in demand for some residents, it may be a less attractive housing choice in the future' Fulton said.

Millennials also seem to shun car ownership and generally favor living in more urban environments, within walking distance of commercial development and mass transportation, he said. And they are more likely to choose a place to live that meets their lifestyle before searching for a job.

The vast majority of college educated young people choose where to live based on factors other than employment opportunities, he said. Creating attractive, mixed use communities attracts these people, and in turn, they attract business, he said.

While Inland Southern California does have a few urban-like settings, it will be more challenging for the region to devise mobility solutions because of the greater distances residents must now travel to get to a variety of services.

The region's more suburban-style development likely will make it less competitive to more urban regions, Fulton said, and it will have to work harder at marketing to a dwindling number of people seeking a suburban environment. At the same time, the region should consider gradually re-doing its older development and creating more new development in a walkable, more urban-like setting, he said.

Fulton addresses seminar audienceFulton's appearance is the third in a series based on the theme, “Envisioning a Future for Inland Southern California.” The Center for Sustainable Suburban Development is inviting a diverse group of community leaders and committed citizens of Inland Southern California - including elected officials, education leaders, major employers, and heads of civic and environmental organizations - to take stock in the region’s assets, design plans to enhance those assets, and work together as a region for mutual benefit.

The seminar series’ focus is the result of a growing number of leaders in U.S. cities and suburbs who are working together to develop their communities into economic powerhouses and raise the quality of life in their regions.

These leaders are capitalizing on their region’s distinctive assets – such as their natural surroundings, history, business strengths and educational institutions – and collaborating to improve their communities from within.

The concept is gaining momentum, in part because of the writings of planning and land use analyst Ed McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute; and Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution, authors of the book, “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities an Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.”

Mr. Fulton's Slide Presentation (PDF)

Audio of Mr. Fulton's Presentation (MP3)