In line with Venkat's previous "Jailbreaking the Bay Area" theme... recent events appear to be adding some urgency to mix:techcrunch.com/2014/01/24/it-doesnt-have-to-be-this-way/
"...Here is an idea for a Google X moonshot: Bay Area housing.
It sounds ridiculous. But frankly, it’s a waste for Google to spend its time media coaching employees at a hearing for $1 fees on bus stops, when it could be joining forces with Facebook, Apple, Twitter and other large tech companies to push for regionwide housing solutions.
...Then in San Francisco, even though there is overwhelming demand for housing, there are literally hundreds of neighborhood associations that have blocked construction for years. The homeowners and tenants’ rights organizations are tightly organized, but there is no one powerful speaking on behalf of prospective buyers or renters at city hall or planning commission meetings.
Take 1050 Valencia, which is supposed to turn an old KFC building in San Francisco’s Mission District into an apartment building. Its two sole affordable housing units were lopped off last month because the neighborhood association was concerned that the building’s proposed five-story height would affect the “character” of the street. Keep in mind that it’s taken 1050 Valencia six years to even get this far.
This is really, really important. When hyperlocal politics and NIMBYism are able to blockade regional development, it actually destroys most of the positive spillovers we would otherwise see from tech job creation into the broader economy. That’s because real wage gains are being held down by the high housing costs for everyone.
So controversial as it is to say, Google needs to start thinking about the entire Bay Area as a company town. They are one of the few entities here that has the capital and political clout to influence development across the entire region.
Remember that BART started out as a pipe dream after World War II in 1946 through many informal meetings between business leaders and mayors from around the Bay.
We need this kind of leadership again. Surely, if Apple, Facebook and Google can drop a few billion dollars and commission architects like Norman Foster and Frank Gehry to thoughtfully design their future headquarters, they can think intelligently about how to house all of the employees who will commute to work there. This may mean becoming more organized about confronting NIMBYists who are inadvertently denying others affordable housing in favor of preserving their own property values."
And of course then there's the ongoing California drought/water situation: science.time.com/2014/01/23/hundred-years-of-dry-how-californias-drought-could-get-much-much-worse/
(must-read on pre-1700's patterns etc.)