From San Francisco Business Times | June 14, 2021
The East Bay’s Tri-Valley region is already home to the Bay Area’s fastest jobs and population growth. With the right planning, the region could become a globally recognized innovation hub by 2040, according to a report released last week by the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
The Innovation Tri-Valley 2040 Vision Plan seeks to promote the growth of the region — which includes Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, Pleasanton and the town of Danville — while ensuring its continued development is sustainable, Lynn Naylor, CEO of ITV, said in an interview.
“Because we are such an economic juggernaut and growing faster than any other Bay Area region, we really felt we needed a plan to identify the key projects that would keep us sustainable and thriving through 2040,” Naylor said.
The Tri-Valley is home to two national labs, a pair of large business parks — Bishop Ranch in San Ramon and Hacienda in Pleasanton — and 450 “technology-related” companies, the report notes. Between 2015 and 2019, $2.2 billion in venture capital funding was invested in the region. Read the full report here.
The Tri-Valley’s proximity to San Francisco but comparatively lower cost of living makes it a “strategic location” for Bay Area businesses seeking to relocate and grow, said Naylor.
Anticipating more of that growth, the 2040 plan outlines five areas of focus for the region:
- Encouraging innovative, resilient economic development
- Workforce development and retention
- Investment in existing public transit and development of additional transportation infrastructure
- Sustainable, equitable land use and housing development and the balancing rural and urban character
- Public-private partnerships
Among the report’s suggestions are the establishment of a research university presence, possibly to be connected to the region’s national labs; the phasing-out of single family zoning in favor of higher-density, transit-oriented residential development; and the creation of transportation management associations, or TMAs, as a last-mile transportation solution for employees.
Each municipality has signed on in support of the 2040 plan, Naylor confirmed, and additional public sector backers include four county supervisors — one from Contra Costa and three from Alameda.
A number of the report’s concentrations are interrelated, the plan notes: sustainable workforce development, for example, will depend in part on the region’s ability to build equitable, affordable housing in adequate supply, and on minimizing displacement of existing residents.
Naylor, asked about housing stock and sustaining the region’s comparatively lower cost of living, said ITV had specifically sought the perspectives of the region’s youngest professionals to best understand how the plan could promote diversity in equity in housing and beyond. ITV, she said, “believes all boats must rise with the tide.”
The report took into account feedback from more than 1,000 people across the two counties and five municipalities that make up the Tri-Valley, Naylor noted. Now that it has been released, ITV will work with elected officials and communities in the area to decide how projects should be prioritized.
“Everyone is at the table, and has been invited in to be part of the conversation,” she said. “That’s why the 2040 Vision Plan is a model for other regions in California and the rest of the nation: it is strategic planning coupled with community collaboration. That’s the path forward.”