Knowledge Center

Curbside San Diego

Curbside San Diego is an initiative spearheaded by the Downtown San Diego Partnership to promote the creative and flexible use of the public right-of-way for the expansion of outdoor business operations in Downtown San Diego during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative’s two primary goals are: 1) Develop creative and flexible uses of the public-right-of-way to assist businesses with adapting operations during the pandemic and 2) Promote long-term solutions to transforming Downtown’s streets and sidewalks into vibrant people-focused places.

In May 2020 the Downtown Partnership, along with 11 other community organizations, released an open letter to Mayor Kevin Falconer outlining a potential framework for repurposing streets into places for outdoor dining and retail. The recommendations identified six pilot locations, each one tailored to the specific business district. The configurations ranged from a multi-block street closure in an entertainment district to the conversion of one on-street parking space adjacent to a popular café.

In July 2020 the City Council approved several emergency regulations to accommodate outdoor business operations, including the ability for business organizations to enact street closures and businesses to convert adjacent on-street parking spaces into outdoor dining spaces. Soon after the Downtown Partnership, with support from U.S. Bank, opened Curbside Columbia and the Gaslamp Quarter Association began Curbside Gaslamp. As more businesses sought to create dining platforms, the Downtown Partnership partnered with a local architect to develop a dining platform module that would be an affordable, attractive, permit ready option for businesses that wanted to expand outdoor dining into the street.

Curbside San Diego is not only providing a lifeline to small businesses as they navigate operations during the pandemic, but is providing a template for the longer-term transformation of Downtown San Diego’s public realm into spaces that foster positive pedestrian experiences.

Project Details

Curbside San Diego

Downtown San Diego Partnership


Public Space Management and Operations
$7500001 and over
San Diego

Project Resources