San Diego secures $3 million for World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana

World Design Organization (WDO)® announced 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.

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–The San Diego City Council Monday voted 9 to 0 to secure $3 million in funding in the Fiscal Year 24 budget for the World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024 program development and implementation. 

The investment from the city represents critical funding for the program, but more support is still needed, city officials said. 

The funding will be used for program planning, production, and marketing efforts. World Design Capital 2024 is committed to supporting nonprofit arts, culture, and design organizations, cultural districts, and other community associations in San Diego.

“We are grateful to Mayor Todd Gloria, City Councilmember Raul Campillo, and all of San Diego’s City Council members for their support of World Design Capital 2024,” said Carlos de la Mora, Chief Executive Officer of World Design Capital San Diego Tijuana 2024. “We know the benefits that the World Design Capital can bring to the San Diego Tijuana region: economic development, tourism, the promotion of local design, international collaboration, regional brand development, and more.” 

“World Design Capital 2024 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region,” said City Councilmember Raul Campillo, who represents District 7 on the San Diego City Council. “San Diego and Tijuana mutually benefit from investments in our unique binational geography and character. I fought hard to ensure the World Design Capital had the support of my Council colleagues because this project will not just bring jobs and investment to San Diego now; it will leave lasting impacts for years to come.”

Following World Design Capital Valencia 2022, the most recent edition of the program, analyses showed that for every 1 euro of public administration funding that was spent on the program, 5.7 euros of income were generated for the Spanish region. 

The World Design Capital program promotes and encourages the use of design to further the economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of the world’s cities. 

Designated every two years, the program is a year-long promotional program to showcase the accomplishments of cities that are effectively leveraging design to improve the lives of their citizens.

The biennial designation is awarded by the World Design Organization and recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. 

The selection of the San Diego Tijuana joint bid makes it the first cross-border World Design Capital in history. While the designation is for both cities as one connected community, San Diego is the first U.S. city ever to receive the designation. 

Tijuana is the second city in Mexico to hold the title, following Mexico City in 2018. The region’s winning bid reflects the collective efforts of founding partners UC San Diego Design Lab, Design Forward Alliance, Burnham Center for Community Advancement, City of San Diego, and the City of Tijuana, as well as numerous community supporters. 

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