No question, we help a lot of people move to the Bay Area. Despite being expensive, it is an attractive environment for many reasons. But when exactly will it be full? Is it already?
Not likely, according to the article "Can cities ever run out of room for everyone?" A Berkeley economist suggests that the Bay Area has room for another 30-40% more people.
The World Economic Forum offers an interesting perspective to what is happening in cities as populations grow and as neighborhoods evolve to meet the demands of the growth. The graphic below shows that San Francisco is much less densely populated than cities like Paris, London, Mexico City and Seoul. Still, there are trade-offs to growth...so when is it too much?
“It’s obvious that we could have millions and millions of people in San Francisco if we built skyscrapers on every plot of land,” Moretti says. “That’s not really interesting to talk about, because nobody wants that. I don’t want that. I don’t think that’s what’s at stake.” What is at stake, he says, is all the housing the Bay Area could add without substantially altering its character, without turning it into Hong Kong. Just replace the surface parking lots, and the under-developed land near train stops, add a story or two here and there without paving over the scenic hills, and Moretti estimates the Bay Area has space for 30-40 percent more people.