The World Design Organization (WDO) announced today that the cities of San Diego (USA) and Tijuana (Mexico) have been jointly named World Design Capital® (WDC) 2024 as a result of their commitment to human-centered design and legacy of cross-border collaboration to transform the region’s natural and built environments.
The cities were awarded the designation by the WDC 2024 Selection Committee, comprising seven international experts in the fields of design, urban planning, and economic and social development.
As noted by WDO President and Chairman of the Selection Committee, Srini Srinivasan, “The San Diego-Tijuana bid showcases the power of design to unite and connect us, despite geographical differences. Their culture of design innovation and unique urban landscape were well-represented throughout their bid, and the region is poised to develop a WDC program that will serve as a model for other border cities around the world.”
Set between mountains to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West, San Diego and Tijuana are situated across the busiest land border in the Western Hemisphere, representing an important transit hub and future global market.
Under the theme of HOME (Human-Centred, Open, Multidisciplinary / Multicultural, Experimental), the San Diego-Tijuana bid was put forth by the Design Forward Alliance. With a particular focus on equity, access and inclusion, the region is hoping to position the transnational community as a place of design synergy and opportunity.
With plans to leverage the WDC platform to build upon years of binational collaboration, representatives on behalf of San Diego and Tijuana hope the designation will cultivate an even more robust design-driven ecosystem across local industries, communities and governments.
As noted by Michele Morris, President of the Design Forward Alliance, “This is about showing the world that we are more than just a border or two border cities. We are one regional home to 7 million people who are more alike than they are different and who partner in many incredible and groundbreaking ways.”
Moscow (Russia) was the other shortlisted city for the title of World Design Capital 2024. Their bid, put forth by the Agency of Creative Industries (ACI), highlighted the city’s rich design history as well as the ongoing achievements of the city’s design community. It was indeed a difficult decision put forward by the Selection Committee as both bids were very impressive, and WDO plans to work with Moscow to establish other design programs in due course.
WDC is a biennial designation that recognises cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. 2024 will mark the ninth cycle for the program, with San Diego and Tijuana being the first binational designation in the program’s history.