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Reconnecting San Diego Communities Across the I-5

Network of Green Space.jpg


The construction of the Interstate 5 Freeway created a divide through the heart of San Diego, severing historic neighborhoods and vital connections to downtown and Balboa Park.

San Diego Commons (SDC) was formed to advance many years of work by grassroots organizations to heal this divide by covering the freeway trench with parkland – reconnecting under-served communities with accessible, desirable open space.

Throughout the nation and the world, communities are engaged in similar efforts. Perhaps the best California example is “Hollywood Central Park” covering US 101 with a 38-acre deck park currently progressing through Environmental Impact Review (EIR) and the planning approval process.

San Diego Commons focus is upon the two freeways covers identified in San Diego’s Downtown and Southeast San Diego community plans:   

  1. Sherman Heights to East Village from Market Street to J Street

  2. Balboa Park and Bankers Hill to downtown from Cortez Hill east of 6th Avenue to 2nd Avenue



Year Codified in Community Plans


Acres of Additional Park Space


Break Ground Target Date



By covering the freeway with green and usable parkland at these locations, we will:

  1. Reconnect communities severed by the freeway;

  2. Transform sources of toxic air, heat, and noise into desirable, accessible open space;

  3. Create common ground for community and shared civic healing;

  4. Embody Climate Positive/Resilience principles for a sustainable future








More than 10 years ago, a group of community stakeholders began exploring the possibilities of creating much needed new green open space in the airspace over segments of Interstate 5 though downtown San Diego. San Diego Commons was certified in 2019 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to create new open space in San Diego and reconnect underserved communities by decking portions of Interstate 5 freeway with parks totaling 20 acres.


San Diego Commons is advancing the realization of this inspiring and healing vision for the future of San Diego.

Dallas, Texas


2022 Board of Directors




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