Two cities so geographically close together, yet separated by an international border and different language, working to build a stronger region. City leaders from San Diego and Tijuana gathered in the PETCO Park Auditorium on Monday, Nov. 23, for the first joint cities meeting on U.S. soil since the mayors of each city signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year.
“The energy and the synergy when we come together in this one region, two cities in one region, that is something I am very proud of,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Describing the two cities as one “mega-region,” Mayor Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazarán hope collaboration will allow for growth in cross-border infrastructure and tourism. In the meeting at PETCO Park, the heads of several City of San Diego departments met with their Tijuana counterparts to collaborate on ways to attract new investments and protect the shared environment.
“We’re becoming an example of how two cities on an international border can really work together as one,” said Mayor Faulconer.
Preparations for El Niño storms were a major topic, as emergency responders from both cities shared their response plans. Areas along the border, specifically the Tijuana River Valley, are prone to flooding during rain storms. Environmental concerns and the innovation economy were other topics of discussion, with the goal of fostering a continued flow of communication back and forth.
“The tremendous relationship that we have only is strengthened by these meetings and we’re getting together and we’re talking face to face,” said Mayor Faulconer.