The Digital Bridge project will create a state-of-the-art "smart community technology center," linking to six new mini-labs that will be built in public housing complexes and community technology centers in schools, libraries, and non-profit organizations throughout the county. The Smart Center will feature wireless laptops and modular furniture so that multiple groups can use the space at the same time, in different configurations. The Center will function as a hands-on research and development site, where residents learn how to use wireless and broadband services to advance community development. The Center will also develop online community dialogue and public space for community problem-solving, idea generation, and training. Community members and non-profit organizations will learn how to use existing community resources to collect and publish data about their neighborhoods.
This project will initially focus its efforts on the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. City Heights is a 3,000-acre triangle in which more than 72,000 people speaking more than 100 dialects live, and where percent of the area's youth live at or below the poverty level. This project will use local high school graduates to help staff the public housing centers, which will give them training to ensure their employability within the community. In addition, the project will seek to create more collaboration and efficiencies among the non- profits serving the low-income areas of San Diego. The project will break the traditional model of fixed classroom-style computer labs by designing a space that is truly multi-purpose and flexible. The Center will be used by non-profits, small businesses, and other groups that have sporadic need for technology but lack the capital to invest in advanced technologies. Sharing a top-notch facility will lower the cost for all involved.
Partnering with San Diego University are City Heights Community Development Corporation; San Diego Futures Foundation; the Waitt Family Foundation; the City of San Diego; Price Charities; Hoover High School; Cox Communication; Pacific Bell; Qualcomm; and the residents of City Heights.