The program offers multiple funding categories for activities, such as programs, projects, events, and festivals open to the public that align with World Design Capital 2024 Focus Areas.

What is a Community-Driven Design Project?

A Community-Driven Design Grants Program Project is a publicly accessible program, project, event, festival, and other similar activity that addresses one or more of the following WDC core focus areas and has the potential to lead to lasting-change in the region through humanity-centered design.

Successful proposals will clearly demonstrate the Project’s ability to:

  • Accomplish a short-term collective impact or long-term systems change through humanity-centered design;
  • Engage the region’s (SDTJ) stakeholders and audiences;
  • Provide an opportunity to prototype and scale-up so that the activities could continue after 2024; and Provide program content unique to the region’s (SDTJ) cultural and economic ecosystem.

WDC 2024 Core Focus Areas

A proposed Project’s goals and activities must respond to and align with one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Arts & Culture: Proposals should provide a lens for exploring diverse perspectives, fostering connections and a sense of shared humanity.
  • Climate & Sustainability: Proposals should address the urgent need to protect the planet’s environment; promote social equity; and ensure economic, social, environmental, and political wellbeing for our present and future.
  • Health & Wellbeing: Proposals should bring attention to various aspects of health — including physical activity, interaction with the natural environment, emotional resilience, social connections, access to fresh and high-quality food, healthcare, and supportive environments for all stages of life.
  • Planning & Placemaking: Proposals should support and encourage shaping the built environment to improve the quality of life for San Diegans, and the creation of welcoming, inclusive, vibrant places that promote culturally important spaces and places.
  • Science & Technology: Proposals should focus on science and technology that drive progress, innovation, and the development of new capabilities, providing us new opportunities to shape the way we live, work, and interact with the world.
  • Youth & Education: Proposals should focus on recognizing the potential of young people as drivers of positive change, and aim to provide them with the tools, opportunities, and support to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to the betterment of their communities and society at large.

While neither an eligibility requirement, nor a guarantee of funding, applicants whose proposals describe how their Project is designed (in whole, or in part) to benefit children and youth will be viewed more favorably during the selection process.

We also encourage applications addressing homelessness and innovative border design.

WDC 2024 x SD City grant Recipients

Congratulations to the 17 organizations and businesses that will receive funding through the WDC 2024 Community-Driven Design Grants Program. This program was developed to support local organizations and businesses in delivering community-driven design activities that engage diverse communities across the city and align with the objectives and outcomes of WDC 2024.

Following an application submission process, the recipients were selected based on their activity alignment with one or more of WDC 2024 core focus areas, including Arts & Culture, Climate & Sustainability, Health & Wellbeing, Planning & Placemaking, Science & Technology, and Youth & Education.


Receiving grants of $75,0000 each

Receiving grants of $25,000 each

Receiving grants of $10,000 each


Official Press Release