Philly is known for some amazing murals throughout the city, but many people do not know that the murals have served as a way to prevent graffiti.

People don’t want to destroy beautiful works of art. They are cultural monuments that represent the distinct voices of residents. Public art is a form of expression that gives unique character to a neighborhood. I love public art so much I did my wedding photoshoot at Chicano Park.

Public art projects are widely considered one of the best ways to improve quality of life in a city.

A few months ago, I met…


I’ve knocked a lot of doors this election.

And I’ve seen some consistent trends.

Voter registration at apartments is significantly lower than that of single-family residential homes.

There’s a variety of reasons.


The user-journey for taking transit should be painless and easy.

If you’ve ever taken a bus or trolley in San Diego, the payments experience was probably unpleasant. If you don’t have cash, you probably had to visit a select stop to procure something called a Compass Card and load money onto that card. But if you started at a bus stop without that machine, you didn’t have the option to even get a Compass Card, making cash the only option. Prior to the price hike, it was $2.25 and you had to be carrying a quarter in your pocket.

This…


San Diego is not designed to be easy to age in. People with mobility difficulties or poor eyesight, who cannot drive, are apt to become house-ridden and lose their connection to their family and their community. They will have difficulty caring for themselves. They won’t be able to get to the nearest outdoor space. And if those people’s friends and family have either passed away or moved, it will be difficult for them to have the all-important human connection.

In fact, according to the San Diego County Senior Health Report (using 2012 American Community Survey data), 42% of our seniors…


“I’m a protestant when it comes to parking requirements — and I believe city planning needs a reformation.” — Donald Shoup

I’ve saved my favorite policy recommendations for last.

Parking is by far the most controversial topic, so I wanted to look to America’s foremost expert on parking reform: UCLA Professor Donald Shoup

He recently published a piece on CityLab talking about his big 3 reforms.

For some quick context on how America got to its current car-centric urban form, consider the urban planning approaches used by former generations:


My first deployment began with meeting my ship for the first time in Phuket, Thailand at the tail end of a 9-month deployment.

I was excited and motivated. Everyone else was angry and bitter.

On the flight to Thailand, I was notified at SFO that my credit card had been cancelled because of suspicious charges. I had no access to money, no access to computers, and no clue what my mailing address was going to be.

It gave me a glimpse of how technology, or lack thereof, could leave vulnerable people in a helpless situation.

Once I arrived onboard, I…


How do you get the city to fund a project important to you and your community?

Current Way

To even get it considered, it has to get on a needs list. These are formulated by the various city departments, based on input including, but not limited to, “elected officials, community based organizations, private residents, operations and maintenance staff, or other stakeholders” (San Diego City Council, 2013, CIP Needs List section, para. 1).

Then, these needs are then prioritized according to Council Policy 800–14 (San Diego City Council, 2013, D. Prioritization Factors section), taking into account things like funding source restrictions…


Make it easier to build housing for military families.

San Diego is a military city. A significant portion of people either work in the military or work in jobs related to defense industry.

It’s no surprise that thousands of military families come into San Diego every year. Given the housing prices, it should also be no surprise that military families choose to leave San Diego after service members separate from the military. We’re losing vital members of our community.

To meet the needs of this critical group, I’m proposing that if a housing developer chooses to build urban housing exclusively…


The basics behind this idea are simple.

In America, we focus on GDP as the dominant metric for success. But what if that was the wrong metric to focus on? Probably 1/3 of all church sermons drive at this single idea: What if economic value is not the same as human value? What if measuring amount of money made by an individual or a society is not the correct way to assess overall health and well-being?

If we are at record high GDP, why are we also at record high rates of suicide, depression, and substance abuse? …


What separates an Asian Night Market from a Chinatown or an area that concentrates Asian businesses?

In America, most Chinatowns have a concentration of mom & pop Chinese restaurants. Many cities also have certain concentrations of Asian businesses in car-centric strip malls.

Asian Night Markets, however, are inherently pedestrian experiences.

Asian Night Markets concentrate a large amount of small food stalls side by side, similar to a farmer’s market. Each small vendor tends to focus on making one item very well.

“This man is an expert in making JianBing (煎饼), this lady specializes in GuaBao(割包). That couple has been making…

Isaac W

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store