Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Third California

This is an excellent report, based on California being three California’s, in their respective development and geography.

The First California is the San Francisco Bay area, the Second California is the coast from there to San Diego, and the Third California is the interior valleys, and that's us.

Highlights from report, including those about Sacramento:

The Third California: The Golden State's New Frontier
by Joel Kotkin and William H. Frey
March 2007

"Extending from the outer suburbs of greater Los Angeles to the foothills of the high mountains of Northern California, the "Third California" contains virtually all the state's fast-growing regions—from Riverside-San Bernardino in the south to the burgeoning suburbs around Sacramento. However, this growth comes with serious collective challenges on how to capitalize on job and population increases while addressing workforce and environmental concerns." (Introduction)

1) “From 1995 to 2000…Third California experienced nearly a 40 percent growth in its ranks of people with graduate degrees, a rate of increase larger than the Second California and close to that of the First California. This movement of professional into parts of the region—most notably the Inland Empire and Sacramento—may signal a longer-term shift in the area’s ability to compete in high-skilled industries.” (p. 7)

2) “Taken together, housing costs and a weaker coastal economy, particularly in the Bay Area, have produced an ever widening gap between growth rates in the Third California and the rest of the state. In fact, between 2000 and 2005 the Third California growth rate has reached over 14 percent, four times the rate for the rest of the state.” (p. 9)

3) “A recent study found that over the past decade areas such as Riverside-San Bernardino and Sacramento led California in creating middle and high income jobs; in contrast, Orange and Los Angeles saw modest growth while San Francisco and San Jose suffered declines.

"If high-skilled jobs, particularly in services and information, continue to shift to the interior this might accelerate the movement of skilled professionals out of the coast and into the Third California. This is particularly true of those regions, notably Sacramento and the Inland Empire, which appear to have progressed furthest along the path laid out in [economist] Dr. Husings ‘dirt theory’ [first stage of development is cheaper land prices] . Sacramento also may benefit from its position as the state capitol, since the government both hires professionals and stimulates industries, such as lobbying and political relations, which hire them." (p.12)

4) “The greater Sacramento region [Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Placer, and Yolo Counties], with roughly 2.7 million people, entered the 21st century with arguably the healthiest trajectory of any part of the Third California….

"This increase reflects important differences from the rest of the third California. In contrast to most Third California regions, where much of the new population growth came from births, in the Sacramento region most growth came from outside the region. It seems clear as well that this area has greater appeal than any other Third California region for educated workers, something traceable, at least in part, to the presence of the state government. Similarly, the migration of educated immigrants—including those from Asia—was consistently higher than other parts of interior California." (p. 14)

5) "To attract new skilled migrants and companies, the Third California must focus heavily on the needs of those demographic groups, notably young families and early retirees, who make up the bulk of skilled domestic migrants to the region. It makes infinitely more sense to concentrate on those things—such as basic infrastructure, open space, and parks—that matter most to both young families and downshifting migrants now coming from the crowded coastal regions. …

"One critical facto could be amenities including the redevelopment of older central cores, or providing better entertainment, retail and dining possibilities." (pp. 16-17)