San Diego Steps into Global Spotlight as a National Geographic Channel "World's Smart City"

Mayor Faulconer, San Diego EDC & Tourism Authority debut trailer for worldwide documentary about Innovation, Opportunities in San Diego

San Diego - San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and other civic and business leaders today unveiled the promotional trailer for a new one-hour documentary special about San Diego that will air on National Geographic Channel (NGC) beginning April 25th in more than 60 countries around the world.

The documentary is part of NGC's "World's Smart Cities" series. San Diego was named one of the "World's Smart Cities" because of its unparalleled quality of life, strong technology sector, local innovators, green practices, and smart public planning.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said, "Over the past year, we've talked a lot about how San Diego as a place of innovation and opportunities and the world is taking notice. This is a very unique honor and we should be proud of it. This documentary not only highlights those who are working to make San Diego a better place, but those who are working to change the world."

According to NGC, the documentary "uncovers what makes this unique city one of the most innovative, forward thinking cities across the globe" and "delves beneath the surface to examine the city's characteristic tolerance, talent, and technology that has seen it transform in recent decades."

Being named one of NGC's "World's Smart Cities" is a rare distinction. San Diego is not just the only U.S. city to receive such an honor, but the only city in all of North America.

Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority said, "This will put San Diego on the global stage like never before. This will showcase our city - the best of our city - before tens of millions of people who might not be familiar with San Diego. This kind of international visibility will undoubtedly result in more visitors to our region, while also benefitting our business community."

Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, "I could not think of a better, more respected entity than National Geographic Channel to tell San Diego's story as a smart city, and a smart economy."

Cities were considered based on a number of factors, including livability, economy and business climate, educational institutions, leadership and demographic and cultural diversity.

Among those featured in the documentary:

  • Rick Klausner, chief medical officer at Illumina, who discusses the transformation of human health with new products that enable researchers to explore DNA at an entirely new scale, and help them understand gene variations associated with health and disease.
  • Su-Mei Yu, a local chef at Saffron Restaurant, who discusses the city's culinary scene, defined by high-quality fresh produce found in 6,000 sustainable farms and influenced by its rich multi-cultural makeup.
  • Stephen Mayfield, professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, who explains how his consortium of academic researchers is collaborating with industry leaders to help make biofuels from algae a commercially viable transportation fuel in the future.
  • Neva Parker, director of laboratory operations at White Labs, who brings attention to San Diego's 100 craft breweries through the development of brewer's yeast, a key ingredient in brewing.
  • Navarina Singh, who shows how the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ provides students from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in San Diego with access to hands-on experiences in engineering in a classroom that is equal parts engineering lab and art studio.

Reaching more than 247 million households, the documentary will be broadcast across Europe, Asia, Russia, Australia, and Brazil, and will be promoted on NGC's Facebook page, the No. 2 media brand on Facebook with more than 50 million fans.

Those partnering in the documentary include: the City of San Diego, the San Diego Tourism Authority, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the County of San Diego, the Legler Benbough Foundation, Malin Burnham, Northrop Grumman, Port of San Diego, Qualcomm, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the San Diego Foundation, SeaWorld San Diego, Sempra Energy and the University of California, San Diego.

CONTACT: Charles Chamberlayne (619) 453-9911 or [email protected]