With plenty of vacant land and blocks of underdeveloped warehouses, the East Village district of downtown San Diego has the makings of the next great neighborhood. Situated between the Gaslamp quarter and Golden Hill, the East Village is bursting with location but dwindling on population. Lately, though, the neighborhood has been showing signs of growth.
To spark pedestrian street life in this formerly industrial part of town, the partners at the collaborative Design TEMPO have launched a Kickstarter campaign to transform a vacant city-owned lot into a free-for-all public space featuring shipping-container retail, a beer garden, food trucks, a dog run, a movie screen, movable furniture, and green space. Dubbed RAD LAB—for Research Architecture and Development Laboratory—the project takes after Envelope A+D's popular Proxy development in San Francisco's Hayes Valley (and, to a lesser extent, London's shipping-container mall, Boxpark Shoreditch).