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FALL 2014 Vessels of Discontent: How the Google Bus Challenges Our Notion of the Right to the City By David Perlmutter GALIP Member FALL 2014 David Perlmutter is a Master's student in Urban Planning at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Before graduate school, David worked as a GIS contractor in the San Francisco Bay Area, first for Apple's Maps application and then for Google's Geo Imagery team. As a former "Google bus" commuter himself, David was drawn to the convergence of transportation, land use, and equity issues surrounding them. CONTENTS Vessels of Discontent 1 Chairs Report 2 Where do we hail from 7 Goodbye Gayborhood 10 Opinion: Requiem for The Country Club 13 Member Profile: John Keho 15 San Francisco's latest technology boom is driving up rents to record levels, fueling gentrification in onceneglected neighborhoods, and catalyzing a strident local debate about inequality and the right to the city. Formerly working-class neighborhoods like The Mission and Hayes Valley have become the centers of a new urban bourgeoisie, where young, highly-paid tech workers can enjoy artisanal coffee shops selling $4 slices of toast or locavore restaurants offering kombucha pairings with each entree. In many cities, a scene like this would hardly sound out of place in gentrified neighborhoods. But the unique urban planning context of San Francisco complicates the typical gentrification narrative of well-heeled newcomers Photo source: www.avant-poste.fr/ and displaced natives. Rents are increasing at such a rapid clip that even solidly middle-class people – doctors, lawyers, police officers – are now having difficulty finding affordable homes to rent. With just 49 square miles, limited transit options outside the city core, an average density just half that of Brooklyn, and wellpreserved historic neighborhoods throughout, San Francisco has suffered from a lack of affordable housing for decades. But with average rents now exceeding $3,000 a month citywide and escalating evictions of long-time residents, the Bay Area debate over the right to the city – and who gets to live there – has reached a fever pitch. Continued on page 3 American Planning Association GALIP GAYZETTE |page 1

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