In 2010 the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) created “Hillcrest 2.0”, a series of business forums in the neighborhood of Hillcrest. These forums were attended by business owners and residents in the community and each had a designated topic relevant to the upcoming Uptown Community Plan. Significant outreach was undertaken to ensure participation and representation from a variety of backgrounds.
The five forums were held in a ‘mixer’ style and were hosted at local restaurants including Bombay, Baja Betty’s, Ruby Kitchen, Kip’s Café and Babbo Grande. Over 450 hours of neighborhood volunteer time was spent at the forums with over 150 individual neighbors attending one or more of the forums. We invited a series of distinguished guest speakers to educate our discussion including Dr. Mirle Bussell from UCSD, Dr. Sherry Ryan from SDSU, Howard Blackson of Placemakers, and MW Steele Group founder Mark Steele.
Hillcrest 2.0 also partnered with the University of California San Diego’s Planning Department to host seven student research groups on topics including public art, pedestrian alleyways, environmentalism, a business survey, a highway lid over SR 163, streetcars, and design guidelines. The student groups allowed the HBA to delve into topics in more detail and create more specific ideas. The student’s final research reports were included as part of the HBA’s recommendations in “Hillcrest 2.0”.
Our Business Forum Committee chairs presented the information from “Hillcrest 2.0” to the Planning Department in early 2011 and it was very well received.
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