The San Antonio skyline as the sun rises. Photo by Scott Ball.
San Antonio and the surrounding Bexar County has been identified as failing to meet the EPA's expectation on smog. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

On March 24, Centro San Antonio will host the first Urban Renaissance Luncheon of 2017 at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in downtown San Antonio. Keynote speaker Joe Minicozzi, principal of Urban 3, will discuss “The Power of Downtown and Other Regional Centers.”

The presentation, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will focus on the quantitative analysis of urban and suburban development and its fiscal and economic impact. For additional details of the event and information on Minicozzi, click here.

Downtowns and regional centers across the United States offer valuable lessons and perspectives on investment and revitalization in the core. The featured speaker for the Urban Renaissance Luncheon made a conclusive assessment that appeared in Better Cities and Towns.

“By our estimates, suburban development doesn’t even cover the cost of the infrastructure that serves it in a reasonable period of time,” Minicozzi stated.

Minicozzi’s presentation is important because he has studied cities all over the U.S. and their growth patterns. He has done the math on the cost of sprawl and the cost of investing in downtowns and regional centers.

San Antonio has 13 regional centers including downtown. Our purpose for this presentation is to learn from those cities that are experiencing similar growth pains. His presentation will be thought-provoking and give us a chance to reassess our growth policies and investment opportunities for years to come.

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As an urbanist at heart, I know where my bias lies. Our own comprehensive plan, entitled SA Tomorrow, which includes a future look at growth, sustainability, and multimodal transportation, states: “Our history of unchecked expansion has perpetuated the perception of disinvestment in the urban core and placed measurable pressures on our infrastructure and utilities.”

The questions now are: How are we evaluating the potential fiscal and economic impact of our regional centers including downtown San Antonio? Furthermore, what lessons can we learn from Minicozzi that can affect our future growth pattern, and how can we more effectively manage it?

Join us March 24, to engage with other community leaders as we discover the true value of downtown investment through Minicozzi’s proactive presentation.

Pat DiGiovanni

Pat DiGiovanni is a recently retired executive of Centro San Antonio, a nonprofit organization focused on building a vibrant and prosperous downtown. He was the organization’s CEO and also oversaw the...