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Comprehensive Land Use and Regional Growth Projects

Smart Growth Visualization Tools and Photo Library

Visualization tools can help illustrate how communities can be transformed by smart growth development and transit-friendly design. The visual simulations are meant to illustrate conceptual smart growth development alternatives and include elements such as mixed-use buildings, pedestrian-oriented streetscapes, public transit improvements, higher density and compact housing, and multimodal transportation options.

The goals of the simulations are to provide ideas for discussion in local communities, showcase different levels of smart growth in the place types identified on the Smart Growth Concept Map, and generate greater support for smart growth and transit oriented development in the San Diego region.

2-D Visual Simulations: These simulations show existing conditions and potential changes based on smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets principles. Simulations have been developed by Urban Advantage, Inc. and PlaceWorks for the following areas on the Smart Growth Concept Map. Visualizations are posted in PowerPoint format. Please save the files to your computer to view the speaking points for each presentation.

3-D Visual Simulations: These simulations consist of a 3-D digital model and animated fly-throughs of conceptual possibilities based on smart growth principles. These areas represent approximately four to six blocks, and the simulations show, for discussion purposes, how these areas could potentially be transformed by mixed use development and transit-friendly principles. 3-D simulations have been completed by Stantec for the following areas:

Note: Video requires Windows Media Player to download.

Smart Growth Photo Library: SANDAG has developed a regional smart growth photo library. As part of this effort, a professional photographer from Artistic Visuals took pictures of existing smart growth development projects and affordable housing projects throughout the region in 2008 based on the 2008 Smart Growth Concept Map. The Photo Matrix provides information about the photo locations and subject matter that the photographer was trying to capture at that time. A complete set of the pictures in the photo library is available on DVD for $15. Please use our Publications Order Form to request these photos.

The photos can be used in presentations, brochures, newsletters, and other forms of communication that help people better understand the concepts associated with smart growth. SANDAG makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or currency of the Smart Growth Photo Library photographs and accepts no liability for omissions or errors therein, or for their consequences.

Project Manager

Carolina Ilic , Senior Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 699-1989, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact David Hicks at (619) 699-6939 or