High unemployment rates and slow employment growth continue to threaten our economy. Once-successful sectors are in decline. Even the workplace is in transition. New technologies and ways of working have disrupted everything from the speed of a typical product cycle to the amount of real estate a company needs.
But as our economy changes, the emerging story is also a positive one. While many formerly robust industries are struggling, the Bay Area’s knowledge services sector is growing quickly, led by companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. These firms are finding that they need the vibrancy and density of an urban-style environment in order to collaborate, innovate and stay competitive. Despite technology that allows us to work remotely, the role of the office is becoming even more important.
In this SPUR report, we make the case that there is a strong link between density and job growth. In fact, we believe that locating jobs closer to transit — and closer to one another — will be key to the Bay Area’s long-term economic growth. We recommend 20 strategies for increasing density, strengthening the regional economy and promoting job growth.