After World War II, San Diego began a campaign to secure its economic position in the post war era. As a city particularly vulnerable to boom and bust cycles, civic and business leaders in the community formed a pro-growth coalition to invest in projects that could secure economic growth. Part of that effort involved capitalizing on some of the region's few natural resources: its renowned climate and stunning natural beauty. Vast, underdeveloped spaces in both bucolic Mission Bay and pastoral Mission Valley were targeted for grand projects. The pro-growth coalition successfully transformed these spaces and has lured millions of visitors and their dollars since, helping to boost the local economy, while securing San Diego as a major tourism hub. However, the resulting economic success has left a mixed legacy for the people of San Diego who now deal with the various consequences of poorly planned landscape transformation, and who continue to debate what is to come next. The development history of Mission Bay and Mission Valley provide important insights into the creation of modern San Diego, shaping the identity of a community mostly known for its beaches and that zoo.