Creating Great 21st-Century Cities

San Diego is coming into its own as a great American city. Over the past 50 years, we’ve made monumental strides in innovation—in cybersecurity, pharmaceuticals, stem cell research, wireless technology and data analytics. The San Diego region has become a model for innovation and entrepreneurship, and that’s largely attributable to the University of California San Diego and the many aligned research and development institutions on the Torrey Pines Mesa.  

The San Diego region is also a leader in computer science and digital technologies, both downtown and along the coastal corridor. And our transport infrastructure further connects us by allowing us to easily travel among those areas. Innovation is everywhere, and UC San Diego is helping elevate scholarship and research to global proportions. Now the university wants to make an even bigger mark in the innovation scene with a push into the urban core. 

UC San Diego is extending its reach. Under UC San Diego Extension’s leadership, a 66,000-square-foot facility is under construction at the corner of Park Avenue and Market Street. This urban center is adding an academic element to the already bustling downtown innovation scene. And its proximity to the Blue Line trolley, which will connect UC San Diego’s main campus in La Jolla with the greater county, accommodates lifestyles tied to a dense urban setting.  

The downtown center will be a platform through which each element of the university will be visible and accessible, and will offer unique educational experiences and cultural activities that inspire lifelong learning. It will house gallery and performance spaces, lectures and special events, and will include a talent accelerator as well as professional continuing education programs and focused workshops for scientists and technology developers. It will be a place where a diverse population moving from high school to college and/or their careers can find early introductions to the opportunities, skills and education they need to be successful in this new information age.  

The state-of-the-art development, set to open in late 2021 (COVID-19 permitting), also aims to ease the city’s housing crunch with a 34-story residential tower. Of its 426 units, 85 will be reserved for very low- income residents.

(Updated August 2021)


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