Instead of Changing San Francisco, Why Not Clone It?

San Francisco Cable Car

There have been a few articles recently, all perspectives from the outside, that preservation, zoning regulations and other land-use restrictions are making San Francisco very expensive place to live. That’s all true. But only people who live in San Francisco have any control over that.

Sure, that’s a way to keep property owners there rich. Demand fills the pockets. But it also begs the question, why don’t we build more places like San Francisco? What exactly about San Francisco make so many people want to make the more than 60-minute trek home from the Silicon Valley each night?

It isn’t just history that adds up to San Francisco. It can be broken down into specific components, small buildings, small blocks, sidewalks, parks, streetcars, murals, not much parking-just spaces for people. San Francisco is all the things we have no interest in building today. And it is very popular.

It’s right there. Look at it and copy!

San Francisco Buildings

About Eric Miller

Rick and I started this web magazine as The New Colonist back in 1999. I was in San Francisco, and he was in Los Angeles. We had a common interest in sustainability and city life. We're still at it. Today I am happy to have lived in both New York, San Francisco and Pittsburgh and to now reside in Dallas. Find more at