ACCESS 32, Spring 2008

California’s Growth: An Uncertain Future

Michael B. Teitz

Few things are sadder than the sight of a friend in the grip of undernourishment, addiction, and delusion. That beloved friend is California— undernourished in what is necessary for its collective health, addicted to the consumption of public services, delusional about the necessity to pay for them. The word “crisis” is used far too frequently in public discourse, but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that California is now facing a serious crisis. The dimensions of that crisis go far beyond the range of the papers in this—and the next—issue of ACCESS: inadequate health care and insurance, a failing K-12 public school system, an under-funded and over-stressed higher education system, a public fiscal system that seems to be in permanent structural deficit with a form of governance full of incentives to keep it that way, and the likelihood of a recession. To all these, we may add the prospect of millions more added to the population, housing prices that are still far above the US median even with the current real estate collapse, insufficient and undermaintained infrastructure, water shortages exacerbated by climate change, and urban development that is inefficient and unhealthy.

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California Futures: Accommodating Growth In an Era of Climate Change and Rising Fuel Prices

Elizabeth Deakin

Sometime between 2025 and 2030, California's population will reach 50 million. During this same period, the state (and indeed the entire world) must find effective ways to substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in hopes of slowing and reversing climate change. California has committed to such reductions in SB 32 and Executive Order S-3-05; the state has pledged to reduce GHG to 2000 levels by 2010 (11 percent below business-as-usual), to 1990 levels by 2020 (25 percent below business-as-usual), and to eighty percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

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2017-05-30T21:58:31+00:00Categories: ACCESS 32, Spring 2008|Tags: |

The Challenge of Urban Transportation in California

Elizabeth Deakin and Robert Cervero

As California grows, increased travel from more households, business activity, and goods movement will surely increase greenhouse gas emissions, lead to more congestion and air pollution, and damage ecosystems and neighborhoods—unless we change the basics of travel in California. We need to take action now to deliver a sustainable transportation system that provides the mobility and accessibility necessary for a prosperous economy, and to find ways of doing so that also assure a healthy environment, social equity, and a high quality of life. Here are some ideas for managing, improving, and reworking our urban transport systems that are proven best practices and, with legislative leadership, could be more widely utilized.

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A Strategy for Infrastructure: The California Infrastructure Initiative

David E. Dowall and Robin Ried

California has an enormous backlog of infrastructure investment needs, estimated to be in the range of $80 billion over the next decade. The state also faces substantial shortfalls in tax receipts due to faltering economic conditions, so its ability to finance this investment is not certain. To attempt to fix this state of affairs, Governor Schwarzenegger announced a Strategic Growth Plan in 2006; in the same year, voters overwhelmingly supported a package of new bond issues totaling $43 billion. Then this year the governor proposed two critical infrastructure policy institutions: The Strategic Growth Council and the Performance-Based Infrastructure Initiative (PBI California). The Council’s objective is to improve interagency infrastructure planning and coordination, and to better align investment proposals with strategic development and sustainability objectives. The proposed PBI California Initiative focuses on infrastructure procurement and project delivery. It has the potential to deliver significant payoffs, such as faster and more cost-effective delivery of projects, value for money invested, and the possibility of attracting private capital for infrastructure investment.

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2017-05-30T21:59:35+00:00Categories: ACCESS 32, Spring 2008|Tags: |

California’s Housing Problem

Cynthia Kroll and Krute Singa

California’s Department of Finance predicts that by 2030 the state’s population will reach fifty million people—twelve million more than today. This will result in an estimated 2.7 million new households in the state. How should the state allocate resources to house the new population, and how will choices made today affect the state’s economic, social, and environmental performance in the future? In many urban centers, low-and-moderate income households live with home prices and rents that far outstrip basic affordability standards. California has faced two housing-related issues for decades: cost and location. In many urban centers, low-and-moderate income households live with home prices and rents that far outstrip basic affordability standards. Even upper income households pay more for housing relative to their income in California than in most other parts of the US. And what new affordable housing there is has largely been added in nonurban places and at urban peripheries, resulting in steadily increasing traffic congestion and commute times in the state’s urban areas.

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