inngeo

CALIFORNIA


Text excerpt from log report for Day 4:

Although not located at the top of the global urban hierarchy, San Francisco succeeded in becoming an important center of international banking and corporate administration connecting the U.S. with countries of the Pacific Rim. The trend toward high- rise edifices intensified in San Francisco, and a series of new headquarters mushroomed in what came to symbolize the new downtown area: In 1966, the 43- story Wells Fargo Bank Building was erected; it was followed by the 52-story Bank of America World Headquarters in 1969, and by the spectacular 48-story Transamerica Pyramid building in 1972.

Picture: San Francisco - inner-city quarters

The growing number of people living in the nine- county Bay Area inevitably led to a gradual decrease in San Francisco's share of the regional population and employment. Even with its continuing high residential population density - 15,600 people per square mile in 1990, second among major U.S. cities after New York City - the historic core of regional settlement was bound to shrink in relative importance as the Bay Area urbanized. This trend further intensified between 1970 and 1994. Meanwhile, the booming South Bay counties of San Matteo and Santa Clara experienced a continued demographic surge. By 1990 San Josť, the sprawling metropolis of Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley), had eventually outgrown San Francisco in terms of population figures (U.S. Census of 1990).

Picture: Victorian buildings at Alamo Square

The demographic deconcentration was accompanied by economic decentralization in the Bay Area. Recent employment data suggest that San Francisco has continued its long-term relative decline as a regional economic center. The growing number of "reverse commuters" who travel from the city to the suburbs is an indication of San Francisco's changing role in a decentralized Bay Area (Godfrey 1997, 321).


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