Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

A friend posted this article on facebook and asked me what I thought of it.  I decided to add it my blog as well.
Was it ever any fun to live in Silicon Valley? Growing up here (SJ), was it ever a dynamic place to be?I’d absolutely agree with the writer, 100%. Planners, and Urbanists have been foretelling this phenomenon for years: Richard Florida, Katz, Christopher Leinberger, and other Brookings folks in particular. Their basic argument is that livable cities are where the knowledge-based economy will take place. What’s telling is how San Jose is not even mentioned in the article. But Oakland is. There are plenty of articles that have the same doom and gloom about how SF has become all white and gentrified, the ill-effects that will lead to, and that long-time San Francisco residents are flocking to Oakland.  As for comparing San Diego to the Bay Area, I don’t particularly have much insight. From my primitive understanding of cutting edge Bio-research, much of it is being developed alongside Computer Scientists. Given the comparative advantage here, all the startups dealing with Big Data, I’d give the edge to the Bay. There seems to be some talk about Boston leading the way in BioTech, but I feel Boston’s been nipping at the heels for decades. I’m eagerly watching to see what happens in Mission Bay and the new UCSF campus. They’re building like crazy out there, and with all the new office space available, there’ll be much more room for new companies to move in. Planners have begun talking about tearing down the elevated 280 freeways north of 101. If they do, there’ll be so much more room for activities!I’m very bullish on the Bay, and SF/Oakland in particular if you haven’t gathered by now. And as long as policies are being put forward that help humanize cities, I have a hard time seeing this shift (cities over suburbs) changing. From last I saw, office space is actually cheaper in SOMA than PA or MTV, and that will only continue to feed this. On a side note, Ron Conway is a name worth following. He’s an angel investor, and has a special place with SF Citi, a lobbying agency representing the tech community. Twitter moving in to Mid-Market has a lot to do with SF Citi.

Bruce Katz actually writes for The Atlantic Cities. I feel that there should have been some mention of this. Sloppy journalism, and slightly sensationalistic with little substance would be my comment about the article.


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I read a rather interesting article in Sustainable Industries on affordable green building. It seems that finally market forces have allowed this crucial segment of housing to I read a rather interesting article in Sustainable Industries on affordable green building. It seems that finally market forces have allowed this crucial segment of housing to move forward.

It states that green construction is a mere 5% – 10% more than standard. Dana Bourland of Enterprise Community Partners claims the housing boom of recent years as providing proof of the value for green building.

Case studies

Patton Park is a new project in Portland by Gerding Edlen and SERA Architects that will utilize their experience in building green for an affordable housing project. The 33rd St and Powell Rowhouses will be built by REACH Community Development. Feature include energy-efficient windows and sunscreens, Energy Star-rated appliances, VOC paints, and solar panels. One really cool thing is the outreach component by educating residents about how to use less energy.


Sunscreens on the southwest corner of the building, were provided by a grant from Home Depot Foundation, which also provided $50,000 for a rainwater-harvesting tank at Station Place, another REACH-developed affordable housing project in Portland. 

Additional funding opportunities at the local level, such as Portland’s Green Investment Fund, incentivize local projects. Surprisingly given their tight budgets, some of the past recipients were affordable housing projects, such as The Watershed at Hillsdale and The Civic, which was developed by Gerding Edlen as a combination of market-rate condos and below-market affordable units.

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