A (CAUTIONARY) TALE OF TWO REGIONS
We’re number 1. That was one of the conclusions of a commentary that ran this week in the Los Angeles Times comparing the economies of the Bay Area and our friendly southland rival Los Angeles. The piece by esteemed UCLA professor Michael Storper found that while the two regions shared the top rank for many decades, Los Angeles has slipped to #25 in recent years while the Bay Area has remained at the top. Among the key factors Storper cited for our region’s success was the role of the Bay Area Council in bringing together business and civic leaders on a regional scale to drive a coherent and coordinated regional strategy that focused on emphasizing the growth of new economy industries.
Despite the kudos and the satisfaction derived from topping LA, Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman observed that it should also be a cautionary tale for the Bay Area. Wunderman said that unless this region works quickly and effectively to address our growing housing and transportation crisis, inconsistent progress in improving education and rise in homelessness and other social problems, we run the risk of ceding our top economic position and slipping down the rankings. The Council will host a discussion with Storper on Jan. 25, 2016.
Next week, the Council and our Bay Area Council Economic Institute will unveil a bold new vision for improving the region and addressing the issues that threaten our economy, our quality of life and our ability to compete globally. To attend the release of A Roadmap for Economic Resilience: The Bay Area Regional Economic Strategy on Friday, November 6, please contact Kim Cespedes.