City Heights Planning Studio

The City Heights Planning Studio course enables Master of Urban Planning students to apply their theoretical studies to a real world planning scenario in City Heights, home of Price Philanthropies.


Cultural Designation of City Heights

Students produced new reports on City Heights’ Cultural Designation. They found City Heights to be a center of diversity reflected in residents, businesses, and cuisines with devoted community groups and strong cultural identity and unity among ethnic groups. They also found it to be an auto-centered community and highlighted many recommendations for City Heights’ stakeholders to consider in preparation for applying for a Cultural Designation. These also promote the overall strengthening of the community to assist our current families and businesses to thrive. Their recommendations include improving the streetscapes, increasing affordable housing, applying various tenant protection policies, improving storefronts, advocating for policy change, and increasing collaboration between all sectors of City Heights’ businesses, residents, and agencies.

Read their reports here:


Site Plans for La Maestra Community Health Center in City Heights

Students worked with La Maestra Community Health Centers, a nonprofit which provides comprehensive services to City Heights residents, to develop a variety of site plans for a new one-block development.
The varied proposals included (a) the City Heights Mosaic, a community hub for living, working, and playing; (b) a proposed partnership with the San Diego Community College District to establish a health and child care training facility, a holistic indoor/outdoor Community Center; and (c) a sustainable Green Hub campus.


Redevelopment of Central Elementary School Site in City Heights

Students worked to develop the highest and best use land development proposals for the re-use of the Central Elementary school site in City Heights. Goals of the redevelopment study included determining highest and best land us scenarios that support the goals of the community while demonstrating financial feasibility. Theories of sustainability and social equity were introduced in the course and used a lens
through which to evaluate both existing conditions and project proposals


Revitalizing Fairmont Corridor

This studio focused on revitalizing the Fairmont corridor between University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard. Students examined the potential role of streetscape and infrastructure investments in catalyzing private investment and connecting the City Heights town square to the new YMCA.


Revitalizing University Ave. Corridor

Students developed a range of creative community plans centered on the adaptive re-use of a historic neighborhood theater.  Ideas ranged from a Mercado incubator of ethnic restaurants led by local entrepreneurs to whimsical place-making.

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