Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Bay (Area): A Powerful Region

Beyond the San Francisco Silicon Valley/San Jose Corridor
The entire peninsula from San Francisco to farther south than San Jose -- from a global perspective -- may casually be 'Silicon Valley'. The horsepower of the technology-rich economic engine in this area may be without a global equal. And certainly is the envy of many other regions that seek economic growth from the development or application of technology.

The Bay Area, as a powerful region, is larger and more diverse than the Silicon Valley, of course. However, to me it is not at all surprising that a conference to propose consolidating power and increasing efficiency to further economic growth would have been convened in the (sometimes) Capital of Silicon Valley. Very believable, actually. The conference was sponsored by Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, both nonprofits associated with the region's businesses and governments.

'State of the Valley' Conference: Merging the Region
(Excerpt) "Hundreds of business and political leaders gathered in San Jose to consider the advantages of merging the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley into a single region...

Leaders attending the State of the Valley conference Friday noted that Bay Area residents, businesses and local governments face the same challenges [in the region]...

They said the region, which amounts to the world's 13th-largest economy, should continue to boom if they coordinate their planning and consider merging transit systems, police and fire services and even city governments... [Some communities already sprawl into each other across a border-in-name-only.]

Technology forecaster Paul Saffo told conference participants...'Powerful regions are the new basic unit of governments in the 21st century,' ...pointing to Singapore and Hong Kong. 'City states are the powerful nexus of power, commerce, culture and identity.'

One simple start would be to get the 27 separate transit systems that residents currently navigate to look and feel like one, with the same paint, fares and a merged schedule, said Egon Terplan, a regional planning director at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.

He said the Bay Area should look to examples like Washington, D.C., for inspiration on putting jobs near transit. [Did someone contact Google, Apple, Facebook, etc?] And he said Portland and Minneapolis have managed to coordinate neighboring governments and services."

Source: Bay Area leaders consider merging region

On Topic:
Bay Area Region
Silicon Valley


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