Co-hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts kicked off the New Year with an overview of what big news stories we’ll be following as 2014 gets rolling. In the second half of the podcast, urban planner Stacey Pennington talked about her work developing Makers Quarter in the I.D.E.A. District downtown. Below are some of the standout points Pennington provided about the urban hotspot.

The I.D.E.A. District is real big into big-picture.

“It’s based on this belief that the future of our economy really relies on the innovation that is found at the intersection of these different disciplines — that it’s no longer about science and academia and arts and culture, all operating in their own individual silos, but it’s about the creativity that happens at that intersection.”

Two things make Makers Quarter extra special.

“First I would say its kind of raw authenticity — that is something that, I think, in this evolution of big, bold new developments over several years, it’s been lost and it’s something that has isolated, I think, some of the end users.

This leads me to my second point, which is very unique about the idea of Makers Quarter: Its anchoring the northeast edge of downtown is a really meaningful and special thing because it provides connectivity to City College, Balboa Park, Golden Hill, Sherman Heights, Logan Heights and the neighborhoods that because of the I-5 intersection … and its kind of quote-unquote division of the neighborhoods from downtown, we’ve lost sight the incredible connectivity downtown has to these really wonderful neighborhoods — not to mention South Park and North Park and up and around to Hillcrest and Bankers Hill.”

SILO’s pretty neat.

“It was powerful thinking that you could take something like a dirt lot and engage the community in ways that helped shape the future of this area. So what we’ve done in the last several months is to reach out and seek for interest and it’s resulted in a really wonderful variety of programming, including craft beer and bikes and a preview for the San Diego Film Festival — I could go on and on.”

Download the rest of the podcast below, and subscribe on iTunes here.

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Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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