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“Re-Working Zombieland” – A Downtown San Diego Social Housing Idea

By Mike in Downtown San Diego Real Estate|July 2014 with 0 Comments

newschool-of-architecture-and-design-logo-One architecture student’s take on implementing a “Work to Live” model into social housing

I have to admit it, I am a little bit spoiled. Not only do I work at the most tech savvy, customer friendly, Real Estate Brokerage in Downtown San Diego (my broker reads these posts too 🙂 ) but I also happen to live Downtown just a few blocks from my office. Living in Downtown San Diego has been a fantastic life choice both personally and professionally and now that I’m approaching the five year mark, I consider myself a true “local.”

When working with clients, I get to give a bit of an insiders view of the daily hustle and bustle of the city, such as the best places to eat, secret bars (see that red door next to Nikki Rottens?), and little-known parking tricks (area F permit). Downtown San Diego certainly has a little something for everyone. We like to say that Downtown San Diego is “urban living with training wheels.” We have all of the “feel” of a true urban metropolis, without most of the negative aspects like high crime rates or cleanliness issues. Unfortunately, one area of concern that we routinely come across here in Downtown is our high homeless population.

homelessOne of the questions that I come across most, especially when showing in the Gaslamp and East Village, is “what is being done about the homeless problem in the city.” Typically, I can talk about the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s efforts or the Red Parking Meter Program. What I’ve really been looking for though is a fresh, forward thinking idea. Enter Ashley Evans.

Ashley Evans is a friend of mine and is now also a graduate of the New School of Architecture, located here in Downtown San Diego’s East Village. One night over drinks, we got to talking about her final Thesis Project and she began to go into detail about some social housing projects that she had read about. I thought that she had some great ideas and was excited to hear that she chose to bring those ideas together and show what that would look like right here in Downtown San Diego.

Ashley’s idea of a ‘work to live’, social housing development would be a great addition to our city. Her project was located on the vacant lot on Park Blvd and K St next to the new library, right in the heart of an area that is currently a hot spot for homeless activity. The project hinges on the idea of everybody living in the community having a part to play in the upkeep and advancement of the housing project. It would not only serve a purpose of housing some of the cities ‘less fortunate’, but also serve as an “in-between” for people looking to transition back into society. Not only did Ashley layout a plan for Downtown San Diego, but in the thesis, you’ll also view case studies of projects around the world where this type of housing is already underway. She has shared her final Thesis Project, “Re-Working Zombieland”, for free on ISSUU, click here to check it out. ')}