Planning for Jobs in Our Region

This website highlights industrial land, businesses, and jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area. In many hot housing markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, jobs are an afterthought. Worried about how we can produce enough affordable housing for our residents, we neglect to ensure space for jobs as well. Yet, new housing development can directly or indirectly displace jobs. This then makes it harder for workers to find living-wage jobs and for businesses to connect to their suppliers and markets in the region. It can also mean more driving, which has negative impacts on the environment.

California regions make comprehensive plans to accommodate future population and job growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. California’s landmark 2008 Senate Bill 375 requires regions to prepare Sustainable Communities Strategies. Yet, surprisingly absent from these strategies is an effort to plan for jobs.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Plan Bay Area attempts to direct job growth to job centers near transit in order to reduce vehicle miles traveled. However, it does not address the needs of the many production, distribution, and repair businesses that are not readily oriented to transit. These range from information technology businesses that occupy flexible space for production, research, and deliveries to industries like construction which may need land for staging areas but send their workers out to dispersed sites. Even though individual cities may be planning for their own businesses, a regional perspective helps ensure that jobs are optimally located to meet environmental, economic, and equity goals.