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CityLab
Economy

How to Fix San Francisco

Strategies for overcoming the Bay Area’s growing inequality and increasingly unaffordable housing.
relates to How to Fix San Francisco
Mikhail Kolesnikov / Shutterstock.com

The San Francisco Bay Area—stretching from San Jose and Silicon Valley in the south to Oakland, Berkeley, and the city of San Francisco in the north—is the world’s foremost tech hub. But the city and region also suffer from deepening urban challenges such as an acute housing affordability crisis and rising inequality. Congestion in the area is rising, commute times have become unbearable, and long-time residents and even members of the creative class are being priced out of the city center. Protests have erupted over the private bus services that transport tech workers from their expensive apartments in downtown San Francisco to the sprawling office complexes of Silicon Valley. In November, a suite of ballot measures, some of which were defeated, aimed to limit high-tech growth in the city and provide for more affordable housing for residents.

The question remains: Can the Bay Area develop a strategy to meet these challenges and find a path to a more sustained and shared prosperity?