California's population is not only immense, it's incredibly diverse. Building the infrastructure to serve the state's current residents has proven a difficult task -- one that won't get any easier.
Excerpts from the "Building A Framework for Equitable Urban Growth" panel at the Pat Brown Institute's recent California Policy Issues Conference. The panel, hosted by The Planning Report Publisher David Abel, included Dan Walters, columnist for the Sacramento Bee, Greg McWilliams, president of Newhall Land and Farming Company, Robert Balgenorth, president of the California Building and Construction Trades Council, and Michael Woo, Los Angeles planning commissioner.
"In 1959, I moved to a California led by Pat Brown. California's population was 12 million; in my eighth grade class, 3 out of 30 students were born in California. Today, Southern California has projected growth of 37 million, which will easily grow to 44 million people within a decade."
"So when we talk about any of these issues, we need to take into account that the structure under which we make those decisions, the governmental structure itself, is in crisis-chronically incapable of reaching any decision whatsoever, even a bad decision. We have a society that is growing and changing very rapidly, therefore, and a political system that is stuck, gridlocked, unable to move in any direction."
..."The rules of growth that govern development in Southern California were drawn in a world that was very different than the world we're in today...I think it is becoming increasingly clear that in Southern California, we cannot afford to grow the way we've grown before. Our current projection is not sustainable. There just isn't the type of vacant land available. As the population grows, we are facing the inevitability of lack of sustainable direction."
Thanks to James Brasuell