Reshape Silicon Valley: conversations and proposals for housing

"iTown" proposal/visualization by Alfred Twu, 2014.

“iTown” proposal/visualization by Alfred Twu, 2014.

Recently there seems to be a bit of a crescendo in the flood of discussion about the Bay Area’s housing crisis.  Here are four intersecting threads I saw or joined on Twitter, leading to (#4) a proposal for a “Reshape Silicon Valley” public event & envisioning workshop. Featuring, by section:

  1. Startup incubator heads & venture capitalists
  2. Urban planners & transit advocate
  3. Journalists & filmmaker
  4. Entrepreneurs & technologists


1. Startup incubators, venture capitalist:

On Nov 3, Sam Altman, President of leading startup incubator Y Combinator, based in Mountain View:

there were many responses to this tweet, including creative ideas such as

[note: Altman’s observation is essentially what in urban/planning/housing studies is commonly described as the “homevoter hypothesis” or “homeowner hypothesis,” as described in The Homevoter Hypothesis by William A. Fischel, 2002.]

the following week, top-dog VC Marc Andreessen ignited another tweet cascade with an “OH” (“overheard”) of a Sam Altman remark:

2. Urban Planner, Transit Advocate

Omar Masry, a planner with the city & county of San Francisco, invited me to a talk this week on street design/planning with James Rojas. This led to an interesting discussion about radical urban design possibilities, which was joined by Adina Levin, a software entrepreneur and transit/planning activist based in Menlo Park.


3. Journalist, Filmmaker

Today was the release of “You Can’t Go Home Again,” a short film about SF’s housing crisis done by Stateless Media for Techcrunch, following up on TC’s Kim-Mai Cutler‘s articles on the issue.

4. Entrepreneur & Technologists



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