The modern battle for the soul of San Francisco has always been, at its core, about redevelopment. The government of San Francisco has corruptly allowed large corporations to assume unfair advantages and displace the political grassroots. In other words, San Francisco redevelopment has been the source of a tyranny that has wrecked this once beautiful city.
This article is one in a series leading up to the publication of the author’s forthcoming book “The Fall of San Francisco.” Please stay tuned!
Land use is the fount from which your local society flows. It is literally the fountain in the town square. What types of buildings are built and how they are used is the single most fundamental factor in local individuals’ daily activities and experience of life – a touchstone if you will.
Vast mountains of cash are poured into land use everywhere because control of land use amounts to control of local and regional societies. Modern urban land use requires massive financial and political power.
In the 47 square miles of San Francisco there is little to no land that remains unused. If land is to be used in a new way, then pre-existing structures almost always need to be remodeled or torn down and new structures built. This is what is known as ‘redevelopment.’ Therefore, in San Francisco at least, land use is more accurately described as redevelopment.
As we will see, the first and prime mover here has been a group of large corporations known as the Bay Area Council. They have gone on to inspire a whole network of organizations that enact their will. In this process, the Bay Area Council has even managed to imbue some of their proxies with the force of government. Please allow me to explain.