Gabriel Metcalf Reflects On 20 Years Of Change In Bay Area

For over 20 years, few people have understood or influenced the Bay Area like Gabriel Metcalf, president of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research. Metcalf recently announced a move to Sydney, Australia, and reflected the past two decades.
August 24, 2018, 8am PDT | Josh Stephens | @jrstephens310
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"It’s been such a fascinating time to work in the Bay Area. One thing that happened is the economy of the Bay Area became stronger and stronger and increasingly the different parts of the Bay Area have merged into a single economy, powered mainly by what we call “tech,” but not exclusively. People used to worry whether San Francisco had an economic future, as long-time headquarters firms kept moving out, and 20 years ago Silicon Valley was really in a different geography than San Francisco. Things are different now."

"The Bay Area is very civically connected. In spite of some big policy disagreements, generally people are willing to engage with each other in a respectful way. That is a very good base to build on. The Bay Area needs to do a better job overcoming the jurisdictional fragmentation. It’s not just that 101 city governments competing for tax base. It’s also the 27 transit operators and the 149 school districts. If the civic connectedness is going to translate into real-world problem solving, we need to strengthen, we probably need to actually strengthen regional governance so that we can take on some of our problems in a more coordinated way."

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Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 in California Planning & Development Report
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