About the Medical Center Area Area Regional Center
Medical Center Area Area Regional Center
Explore the tabs below to learn more about the assets, challenges and opportunities in the Medical Center Area Area and to view our study area map.
The Medical Center Area supports a diverse job market. Although, 47 % of jobs are health care related, the area also integrates support industries such as technology services, educational services, and science research, as well as services and amenities such as restaurants, coffee shops, and grocers. The area is also home to USAA, the city’s largest private employer. Situated along Loop 410 and Interstate Highway 10, the Medical Center Area’s location is a major asset as it allows for multiple bus transit routes in and out of the area, as well as easy access to the city center. The area’s central location allows convenient access to important medical services from all parts of the city.
Traffic congestion is a major challenge for the Medical Center Area. Concentrated populations of both employees and residents, create congestion throughout the day, with particular problems during morning and afternoon commutes. With key medical facilities relatively spread out along the main corridors, much of the traffic congestion is related to employees, patients, and visitors moving between facilities, and attempting to find available parking.
The lack of public open spaces is another challenge for residents, visitors, and employees of the area. Pedestrian safety is a key concern for the area. Although sidewalks exist throughout the majority of the area, they do not fully connect to neighborhoods, transit facilities or other key destinations. In addition not all sidewalks have a safe buffer from traffic, and where crosswalks exist, they often cross wide, high traffic intersections which are not always accessible or convenient for the mobility impaired.
The Medical Center has a dense population of employment and talent. Providing support to this area through alternative transportation options, building on existing partnerships, and providing informal recreational opportunities will continue to catalyze the “live, work, and play” vision and make the area even more attractive to hospitals, research institutions, visitors, and residents. With easy access to medical services, potential for additional connected green spaces, and easier pedestrian mobility, the area has the potential to become the healthy example of a well-functioning area that provides a nurturing environment for residents, employees, patients, and visitors.
Sub-Area Plans are intended to provide a more coordinated, efficient and effective structure for neighborhood planning. Existing and future neighborhood planning will be integrated into the planning for regional centers and community planning areas. Neighborhoods will become integral sub-geographies of these sub-areas while also receiving special attention through chapters and/or sections in each Sub-Area plan, reflecting specific opportunities, challenges, recommendations and priorities from each participating neighborhood. Neighborhood and community plans should be respected, as appropriate, as they are integrated into the sub-area plans.
Comprehensive Plan Regional Centers
Regional centers are one of the major building blocks of San Antonio’s city form and are a major component of the Comprehensive Plan and the overall SA Tomorrow effort.
While most cities have one or two larger employment centers, we have 13. This provides challenges and opportunities. A major organizing element for the Comprehensive Plan is to focus growth in these regional centers, building on the existing pattern of development. They’re envisioned as new “places” where we live, work, and play.
New development is already gravitating to these centers and we can guide additional growth in these areas. Each center is different and its development will be influenced by its existing uses. However, many of the centers are also well-positioned to develop as vibrant mixed-use places. They offer a variety of housing options and price ranges, allow higher-density and incorporate carefully designed and located amenities that will benefit both residents and employees of the center. Each center’s character can attract a different mix of businesses and employees. Therefore, San Antonio must focus its investment and infrastructure strategies on supporting and leveraging the unique identity and assets of each center.