Why the City of Life?

Why the City of Life identifier for San Diego, as opposed to “Biotech Beach”, “Telecomm Valley”, “City of Innovation”, “City of Guacamole” or any other number of ideas? Perhaps a better approach is to ask if there is another identifier that successfully:

  1. Defines the essence of what San Diego is, and what San Diego aspires to be.
  2. Projects a unique, world-class image for San Diego. (We know the “City of Life” does so because when we started promoting it for San Diego, Hong Kong suddenly embraced it as theirs. They only abandoned it because of the 2003 SARS epidemic that ravaged their city. Hong Kong is one of the savviest cities in the world and their attempt to brand themselves as the “City of Life” speaks volumes about its potent marketing power.)
  3. Celebrates San Diego as the birthplace of “life” for modern day California. (The first European expedition to set foot on the west coast of the United States was led by Spanish explorer Juan Rodguez Cabrillo in 1542, and the location of the first landing was San Diego.)
  4. Highlights the reason most of the original settlers migrated to San Diego in the first place – for “life” itself. (San Diego has long been recommended as an ideal climate and location to cure or forestall a host of illnesses. Likewise, San Diego continues to exemplify “on the cutting-edge” when it comes to healthcare that preserves “life”.)
  5. Promotes the Life Sciences and Biotech, key San Diego industries that are playing a pivotal role in improving and lengthening the quality of “life” for people all around the globe. Yet, at the same time, remains inclusive of all of San Diego’s vast industries and professions. (Note the definition of “Bio” is “Life”.)
  6. Invokes San Diego’s “Life is Innovation” state-of-mind. (This mindset prompted Forbes to name San Diego the top place in America to launch a start-up business. Local innovation successes include Qualcomm, Illumina, Life Technologies, Salk Institute, Qualcomm Life, SPAWAR, Stone Brewing, Taylor Guitars, Venter Institute, WD-40, Price Club (Costco), etc.)
  7. Honors San Diego’s Spanish and Mexican heritage and lifestyle, and resonates bilingually. (The Spanish translation, “Ciudad de Vida”, to be interchangeably used. San Diego is nearly one-third Hispanic / Latino by population, borders Mexico, and hosts the busiest land-border in the world with over 40 million people crossing annually.)
  8. Showcases San Diego as a year-round sporting and activity metropolis with endless opportunities for sailing, surfing, swimming, golfing, tennis, running, biking, motorcycling, et al. Likewise, presents an uplifting sporting image for San Diego’s bid to host the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Cups, America’s Cups, et al. (Sports Illustrated declared San Diego to be “Sportstown, USA”.)
  9. Presents San Diego as a city teeming with enthusiasm and a joie de vivre (joy of living). (“Life” embodies everything a city should want to be about.)
  10. Spotlights a “quality of life” in San Diego second to none in the world.
  11. Honors the San Diego presence of the United States Navy and Marine Corps who are in the business of defending “life”, as well as our very way of “life”. (San Diego is also the birthplace of “life” itself for naval aviation.)
  12. Glorifies the foremost inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are “Life”, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”)
  13. Promotes San Diego as an exciting, fun-filled tourist destination.
  14. Appeals to San Diego’s physical attributes as a place with endless sunshine and a diverse beauty along the Pacific Ocean.
  15. Symbolizes the San Diego “mindset” of warmth, optimism, unlimited possibilities, and being able to do anything, any time of the year.
  16. Radiates the “vibrancy” and “excitement” of San Diego as seen by our revitalized Gaslamp District, downtown ballpark, rising skyline, and spectacular beaches, bays, and harbors.
  17. Embodies the Partners for Livable Communities announcement of San Diego as one of the “Most Livable” cities in America, as well as the Men’s Journal featuring “The 50 Best Places to Live” with San Diego ranked #1.
  18. Features San Diego as one of the most bio-diverse regions in the United States and the world, as well as one of the most environmentally friendly. (Note the definition of “Bio” is “Life”.)
  19. Incorporates original, exciting, and complimentary visual “life” imagery that will be “emblematic” for San Diego, and possibly become “iconic” over time.
  20. Capitalizes on a theme brilliant marketing minds around the world are embracing – “life”. (The 2010 Shanghai World Expo theme was “Better City – Better Life”; the 2015 Milan World Expo theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”; the Milk Industry has just replaced its ultra-successful “Got Milk?” ad campaign with “Milk Life”; and Coca-Cola’s newest product being tested around the world is “Coca-Cola Life”. “Life” is being recognized as one of the most powerful and appealing global marketing messages.)

City of Life successfully accomplishes all of the above. Does any other concept come even close? The time has arrived for San Diego to stand tall on the world stage with a unique identity of its own.

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