Sunday, November 15, 2015

A More Livable City

San Antonio wants to be the kind of community that attracts residents and enables them to live healthy lives with a vibrant, sustainable downtown. This was the message of the Health and the Built Environment Conference of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District; a gathering of some of the nation's brightest minds and local movers and shakers. This year's theme was “Leveraging a More Livable SA.”

San Antonio was founded in 1718 under the The Laws of the Indies. Written in 1680, these plans detailed every facet of creating a Spanish colonial community including:
  • a healthy location that can be defended from attack
  • a source of food, fuel, fresh water
  • industry and access to commercial transportation
  • aesthetically pleasing architecture
  • a commons for recreation and feeding flocks
  • room to grow

As we approach San Antonio's 300th birthday, the above list is still vital for a sustainable urban community. Mayor Ivy Taylor's opening remarks set an upbeat tone for presentations on safety, health, new urbanism, sustainable living and walkable cities.

San Antonio boasts a vibrant downtown that is among the most affordable in America. The Riverwalk, The Pearl, and Rackspace are among the new stars of urban development. The recent designation of the missions as a World Heritage Site puts San Antonio in the world spotlight.

We do have problems: homelessness, food insecurity, blighted neighborhoods, etc. We also have a city filled with opportunities and talented leaders. Let's work together to create opportunities for the people at the margins of our great city.