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Living Downtown
Photo: Kevin Miller
In an effort to triple its downtown population by 2030, the city of San Diego has started an advertising campaign. The theme is “Simplify your life. . .live downtown.”

With the high cost of fuel and transportation, this approach makes sense. To document the population of downtown, San Diego’s Downtown Residential Marketing Alliance commissioned a survey. It found that “50 percent of downtown’s 30,000 residents were 50 or older."

The survey also found that the idea of simplifying life was not the reason the 50+ crowd gave for moving downtown. The respondents cited easier access to entertainment and cultural activities (which may lead to a modification of the advertising campaign). This response may be a forecast for the future.

“The baby boomers are on their second childhoods when their kids get out, which is a different attitude than their parents had,” said Dottie Herman, chief executive of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “In the suburbs, most of life is about the PTAs. Then all of a sudden the kids are older and they’re in their early 50s, and they still have life and they want to go back to the city.”

Action Oriented

People who have a place in the city talk enthusiastically about walking to shops, restaurants, and cultural activities. The variety of activities contributes to the sense that the city is alive—the center of action.

While the suburbs aren’t going to disappear in the near future, center city living is a choice of an increasing number of people. For some it is their dynamic second home. Instead of a mountain retreat or seaside resort, the city attracts those who are determined to embrace life at its fullest.

Perhaps the advertising slogan for San Diego should be “Downtown—Where the Action Is!”

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