San Diego & Strasbourg, France

Categorized as Case Studies, News from NA

Sustainable urban mobility, activation of public spaces & social inclusion


“The success of this [partnership] is that it opened our minds.”


Activation of Public Spaces

Strasbourg and San Diego recognize the importance of redefining public outdoor spaces to integrate mobility and sports, promote a healthy lifestyle, and provide greater access to public spaces, so they prioritized learning from each other to create safer spaces for physical activity and recreational opportunities. Strasbourg’s Vitaboucle is a circuit of green spaces that allows users to exercise and enjoy nature while moving across the city.

Sustainable Mobility

Strasbourg has implemented an ambitious sustainable urban mobility plan which incentivizes theuse of alternative transport modes. This shift has led them to extend their bicycle lanes network andtake it a step further by creating a wayfinding system that emulates those used for public transportso cyclists can quickly identify routes and travel time across the city. During the San Diego learningexchange, Strasbourg led a technical session to guide San Diego on implementing policies in theirMobility Action Plan to develop and implement a similar wayfinding system.

“As I am working now on the new mobility department, I feel that because of this program I can be a better leader, because I have seen what is possible, not just with Strasbourg, but through our technical sessions with other IUC cities.”


Branding and Communications

Both cities discovered the power of branding and communications to convey a clear message that provides a cohesive vision of the city’s work efforts and gain support and engagement from residents.

San Diego, inspired by the Vitaboucle, incorporated into their new Parks Master Plan policies to engage users and sustain activity for 40 minutes or longer and activate underutilized areas with pump tracks, skate parks, large organized gathering spaces and other similar facilities. Strasbourg also intends to incorporate lessons from San Diego into its 2024 Sports Masterplan by creating public private partnerships that can help activate underutilized green spaces and support their management.

Portable Pools Program

San Diego has been running for decades the Portable Pools Program, which allows children from communities without access to pools to learn how to swim, exercise, and decrease drowning. Strasbourg found the program inspiring and a solution to their national policy of ensuring all children know how to swim.

“[Participating in the program] offered us better communication within our organization. We could demonstrate that the example set by San Diego can be developed here too. The Sports department has become a link between different professional areas, which has made us proud. We have been lucky to meet so many smart people. A truly win-win experience.”


Sustainable Sports Events

During the San Diego learning exchange, Strasbourg visited the Farmer’s Insurance Open to analyze their zero-waste program and Petco Park to learn from their energy and waste saving measures.

Strasbourg has developed a Sustainable Events Guide addressing areas such as participants’ health, waste management, use of reusable materials, energy-saving opportunities, and access through alternative transport modes. This guide also intends to help event organizers identify how they contribute to the SDGs and, based on a score, gain further support from the City.

Case Study: San Diego & Strasbourg, France

Sustainable urban mobility, activation of public spaces & social inclusion