The Regional Metropolis
Through the San Francisco Bay Area consists of 110 independent municipalities, nine counties and 7 million inhabitants. Recent development in the outlying parts of the region has expanded seemingly without direction, while many areas closer to the urban connections are passed over.
The recent proposal for a high-speed rail connecting northern and southern California, the meaning and scale of the “region” dramatically changes.Indeed, the Bay Area is increasingly becoming a continuous metropolis — an emerging ‘megaregion.’ The development is characterized by contiguous spatial integration, rampant land consumption and sprawling development. Too, the megaregion has economic implications, as in increased commuting and goods movement on interstates between counties and cities, and the use of different parts of the region as platforms for lower cost production. Finally, the megaregion means increased cultural integration, with changing identities that include metropolitan regions, in addition to cities and neighborhoods.
Through the Urban Places Design Studio with Professors Elizabeth Macdonald and Peter Bosselmann, the design team conducted analysis of the spatial patterns of development in the San Francisco Bay Area. The goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive picture of the Bay Area that communicates a regional structure, to be used for better design at the regional scale. Because of the multitude of interests and agencies involved in the development process, there is an urgency to consider a comprehensive structure of the regional and imagine settlement forms that respond to the Bay Area’s natural setting and employment connections. The resulting report paints a picture of a region with plentiful opportunities for inclusive and sustainable development; but also a region that will be grappling with difficult decisions over land use issues, transportation, housing costs and employment.
Role: Map creation, board layout