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2010s Were Best Of Times, Worst Of Times in California

California started the decade with a recession and hangover from rampant development in the 2000s. What ensued was an economic boom like none other. Meanwhile, its cities developed only incrementally, spiraling into a catastrophic housing shortage.
January 9, 2020, 9am PST | Josh Stephens | @jrstephens310
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Century City

"California of the 2010s played host to the most potent combination of innovation and finance the world has ever known. We figured out how to build just about anything as long as it was made of gigabytes and lived in the cloud. We built some infrastructure too, like light rail and airport terminals. Building housing, though, was another story."

"The revival of downtowns that swept the nation included California too, fueled by changing demographic trends, new appreciation for urban life, and new distaste for sprawl and driving. That, along with the development of light rail, may be the one bright spot. Many downtown neighborhoods are livelier than ever. Even so, this is a trend that has been in the offing for well more than 10 years and that has moved achingly slowly. You can nearly build a whole city in China in the time it takes to get an alcohol license in California."

"Even amid one of the greatest outpourings of creativity since the invention of the city itself, California of 2020 doesn’t look that much different from California of 2010. The state’s flat population growth, announced just last week, is both a symbol and a result of our statis [sic]. But, many of the changes in the 2010s may yet lead to radically new urban landscapes in this new decade."

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Published on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 in California Planning & Development Report
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