by Urban Woodswalker
In the 21st century the San Diego-Tijuana region will face a series of opportunities to ensure a sustainable future for its citizens. We believe that among the most significant of these opportunities are the following:
- Positioning the region in the global economy. Effective collaboration for the planning, financing and management of border infrastructure will be crucial determinant of San Diego-Tijuana’s future position in the global economy. Despite the region’s status as a leading manufacturing center, recent research by San Diego Dialogue has suggested that we are currently losing out on even greater opportunities. An effective trade infrastructure system can help to position San Diego-Tijuana to continue to take advantages of opportunities in the North American markets, as well as to tap emerging opportunities in Latin America and other parts of the world.
San Diego-Tijuana also has a unique opportunity to position itself as a leading center or the development and manufacturing of next generation personal electronics. The convergence of television, computing and wireless communications, all of which are well-represented in the region’s industrial clusters, offers the possibility of new, economic development that can take advantage of indigenous capacity, leverage preferential trade regimes and link to distribution systems capable of serving a global market. A pro-active work force development and technology transfer strategy should be explored to capture opportunities in this new sector of the “digital economy”.
- New public/private partnerships. The possibilities of privatization and public/private partnerships have been vigorously explored in the San Diego-Tijuana region. Recent examples of these efforts include joint trade missions to Asia and Sempre Energy International’s new pipeline to supply natural gas to the Presidente Ju´rez Power Plant in Rosarito. The Rosarito project will be the first private pipeline to provide a long-term supply of U.S. natural gas across the border to a Mexican power plant.
We believe opportunities exist to build on the lessons of these efforts for other policy issues facing the region. In the area of water supply, for example, policy makers are considering the merits of public/private cooperative efforts to construct a binational aqueduct from the Colorado River to San Diego-Tijuana. Such a project would help ensure more sustainable water supply alternatives for both cities.
- Closing the income gap and promoting social development. The challenge of social equity in San Diego-Tijuana is inextricably tied to sustainable regional development. Given the significant population growth projected for the region over the next 20 years, creating strategies for closing the income gap and securing sustainable housing and employment opportunities is critical to the region’s future.
A binational agenda for reducing poverty and promoting social development should be embraced by government agencies, foundations, private companies and community-based organizations on both sides of the border. Such an agenda would include expanded opportunities for primary and secondary education (including assurances for equal access to high-quality education), clear pathways for local residents to move into employment opportunities in higher-paying manufacturing and expanding of affordable housing supplies.
Copied from SQLJ » Recycling Articles