Town Square

Officials adopt plan for Bay Area growth

Original post made on Jul 21, 2013

A coalition of Bay Area leaders late Thursday night approved a controversial plan designed to accommodate population growth over the next few decades while meeting state mandates for cutting air pollution and improving access to public transportation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 19, 2013, 9:49 AM


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

> "I think that the heart of the matter is that the demographics
> forecasts are off and that their numbers are just too high
> in how many they give to Palo Alto and how many they give
> the Bay Area," Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff said at the
> May 9 meeting of the housing committee.

While I have trouble believing anything that Mayor Greg Scharff says, the long-term growth data for the SF.BayArea suggests that demographic projections could very well be "off". I've plotted the data, which shows decreases in population growth is likely:

Long-term Population Growth in SF.BayArea:
Web Link

Given the growth in China, and India, it's difficult to believe that there will be continued immigration from these two countries. Further, we will be seeing service robots working on California farms before too long:

Engineers Design Robots For Farms:
Web Link

While it will take at least a decade to see some of these new technologies begin to take hold, reducing the need for unskilled immigrants (such as farm workers) will be a result. Without modelling the future based on the likelihood of more service robots being used, demographers are not likely to "get it right".

One example of an emerging technology that is a game changer is self-driving vehicles. Once available, there will be virtually no need for "drivers". It would not be hard to predict at least a 10% reduction in the labor force--displaced by this computer technology. Over time, fewer workers maps into less need for housing.

We are on the cusp of some very significant disruptions in our labor force, based on Information Technology. It might be too early to expect "planners" to understand these changes--but it's not too early to reject projections that don't acknowledge these coming events.

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Posted by No thanks to "planning'
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 3, 2013 at 4:47 am

Please save us from "planned" anything in growth and just let us build and buy where we wish..we will vote with our pocketbooks where we wish to live and shop.
I trust millions of us working and choosing where to put our hard earned money far more than a few elitist folks trying to manipulate the future.