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M. Brown

Reasons for San Fran's Pop. Decline

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Just guesses, but...

High cost of living/real estate

Loss of both high tech and manufacturing jobs

suburban sprawl

reduction in immigration

are you talking "city of" or metro populations?

what are the numbers?

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Both. It just seemed really strange to me because of all the hype about the sunbelt and west coast and everything gaining population and the rustbelt loosing population (even thought thats not the case for all rustbelt cities)

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SF's city limits can't be expanded any more, so new growth is not possible, only regrowth. San Jose is not stuck on the panninsula, and Santa Clara County is flat out larger in area than SF Co. Thats how it appears to me.

In terms of metro, I can't say... I don't konw enough about the area

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I seem to recall that California actually lost population (though not by much) for the first time since the Gold Rush- when they took the 2000 Census.

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California did not loose population in the 2000 census. The official count for the state was 33,871,648, an 13.8% increase of 1990. However, since the late 1990s, whites have been leaving California in large numbers to places like Las Vegas and Phoenix. So the immigration is really the only thing that is keeping the population rising.

According to this map, only two counties in California lost population between 1990 and 2000.

pop_map9000.gif

The problem with San Francisco is that the housing is so expensive that even upper middle class people are being pushed out. The city is very unaffordable. It has become home for only the wealthiest of Californians. What little new housing is constructed is luxury apartments or condominums, not affordable housing. The city seems to be approving more projects, but not nearly enough to put a dent in the ever-growing housing crisis.

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It should be noted that most of the people that left San Francisco and other cities around the Bay Area didn't move to Arizona or other states in the South. They simply moved to the outer Bay Area's counties- Sacramento, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, etc., where housing is less expensive. Unfortunately, they now have to commute farther to their jobs in San Francisco, Oakland, and Silicon Valley.

In many ways, San Francisco is in the same boat as Manhattan. Even if we built a sufficient amount of housing every year, the city would still be expensive because it is such a desirable place to live. SF will never have housing prices that rival St. Louis, Charlotte, or Houston. Does this mean we should give up and not build any new housing? No. SF should constuct housing to ensure that housing prices don't soar to astronomical levels though.

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I am going to direct my post to the idea that the metro area/region is different than that of the urban core.

It is an incredibly interesting question, actually, that of the idea of a region. Essentially this notion recognizes that in our present state of transportation freedom, there are vast geographic realms which are interconnected. This has been extended to include inter-urban commuters, those who regularly commute from one city to another, and even to inter-national commuters who utilize either air or train travel (the latter especially in the case of the Chunnel between London and Paris). While these categories of people do not, and probably will never given our existing transportation system, make up nearly the requisite which the US Censes places on including counties within a MSA or CMSA, they are interesting and important phenomina.

This having been said, I think that the points that people made show that all of the enumeration units (boundaries of data, ie. counties or census tracts) of study have merit. For instance, loss of population in the urban core (ie. NYC county in NY, which has lost population in the past 100 years) is indicative of something. We may all have different understandings of what it is indicative of. It is also important to understand that, especially in the case of Atlanta, the census continously addes counties to the MSA or CMSA, as was noted above. As important as these additional counties are to the MSA, not the entire population is urban. The threshold numbers for the census are relatively low, and can therefore be misleading with regard to numbers of people that have been "incorporated" into the ©MSA. Residential growth in US cities in the past 50 years has been almost exclusively in the non-core urban areas, while commercial and industrial uses have moved to the periphery as well. In response to the question of why urban cores would be growing while the core population is declining, it is important to understand that the region functions in a much more real sense than the municipal city lines do. Commuters don't care about what their address is, rather they shop for a home. This is essential in understanding the american urban form.

There is so much more to say about this, but, honestly, I'm done for the night....

Enjoy, JBP

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Many urban cores are home to only the wealthy and the poor (this has been said of Manhattan for well over 50 years), in this way San Francisco is typical. Also, suburban development is strong in most 1st world cities, and the ones where it is not strong are those where development is strongly regulated. A case in point is the suburban development in London. While there was an attempt to preserve open-space through a Green belt, residents STILL bought houses on the periphery, leading to more miles driven per person. Every city has suburban development along its periphery, there have been Suburbs and Exurbs since the Roman Empire.

When you say that other cities are more uniform, and this may be true, it does not mean that there are no suburbs. Essentially you are speaking of the distinguishing of urban and rural. While there is certainly more integration of urban an rural within the American landscape than that of other nations, that does not mean that there are not suburbs. As the term suburb implies it is about being urban and not at the same time. Density, while important, is NOT the defining factor here. Rather the defining factor is that of the main function of these places. Are they a residential pocket which is essentially tied into, and subservient to, the great urban core? In a non-scientific way this is a suburban definition. For a more scientific definition please refer to the census definition, and append it as you see fit.

While your points are certainly meritorious, these are some points which add to them.

JBP

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Reasons why San Francisco has lost population:

- Taxes too high

- Cost of living too high

- Cost of doing business too high

- Political climate hostile to families and business

- Lingering effects of the dot.com bust

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In Japan suburbs are not autocentric, but that is not true everywhere.....i.e. Western Europe increasingly.

JBP

I should have added that suburbs in most non-American cities, especially in Japan, are not auto-oriented.  This is what distinguishes what has occured in the USA.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Yeah, I read somewhere that there is no more room for the city to grow, But I think the metro area is 3-5 million right now. Did you know that the second most bussiest bridge in America is the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, It crosses From Downtown San Francisco to Oakland. A section of the Bridge fell killing 1 person and took a month to fix during the 1989 earhtquake. There building a new Bay Bridge and will earthquake proof and open somwhere in 2007-2010. When it opens there going to tear the old Bay Bridge down.

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