As evidenced by the proliferation of distance running events located in iconic cities throughout the world— running is a great way to see a city, and a great way for a city to share its finest attributes. Since 2000, the number of half marathon finishers in the U.S. has increased by 284%, with economic impacts to cities reaching $25 million in one weekend. It is no doubt that cities put their best foot forward (no pun intended) to deliver the finest course.
The 2014 Rock n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, held in June, passed through the collection of historic neighborhoods known as Uptown. This part of the city is known for its wealth of historic resources, vibrant and distinct commercial corridors, eclectic architecture, walkable neighborhoods, and stretches of Palm tree-lined
avenues. It is also the location of the BRT line currently under construction. WRT is currently working with the City of San Diego on the Urban Design Element (UDE) for the Uptown Community Plan, which focuses on maintaining community character while allowing for sensitive infill. As a former Uptown resident, runner, and planner for this project, I was thrilled to participate in this year’s race. The course winded through Uptown’s neighborhoods of charming bungalows, offered views to the Bay from canyon-lined mesas, and showcased the vibrant pedestrian-scaled districts that link the neighborhoods, filled with cheering spectators. I was once again reminded of the exceptional character of this community—both in its people and built environment, which the UDE will ensure is protected and celebrated.