Whose Future? “Smart Growth” in San Francisco
July 2013, ABAG and MTC approved Plan Bay Area, which proposes to put 92,000 new housing units, 190,000 new jobs, and 73,000 more cars into San Francisco over the next 30 years. The projected pace of housing construction would average around 3,100 units annually, a rate that has been reached only twice over the last 50 years. Is the plan for this pace of growth even realistic, and will this “smart growth” plan have the hoped-for benefits, or is it simply, in planner-speak, “aspirational”? How will that level of growth impact existing communities, the local economy, and already stretched transportation and city infrastructure? It is clear that we desperately need a plan for cutting carbon emissions and linking housing, jobs, and transportation. Can we even accomplish this within the current paradigm of profit-driven development? By Fernando Martí.