Our Take on NewCo’s Bay Area Festival Oakland Experience
The tech boom is sweeping across the Bay Bridge and into the heart of Oakland, but the city hasn’t lost its soul. While NewCo host companies are mostly tech firms — and indeed, Uber is opening a 3,000 person office downtown , and companies like Pandora, VSCO, and Huge have made the city their home — it was a different story in Oakland: host companies were also . They opened up their doors and told their story.
But, as NewCo Bay Area Festival made clear, the city is working hard to maintain the soul and creativity that makes it so unique. Take a look at some of the highlights from the day.
The new mayor of Oakland on President Trump, Uber’s move, the gentrification and housing crises, and why cities are the antidote to Presidential politics
The Bay area has added half a million jobs since 2000, but only built 54,000 new units of housing. Therein lies the root of the region’s affordability crisis: Lots of new tech-related jobs, but not a lot of places to put those new employees. That means workers have to commute much longer distances, and an already overstressed transportation infrastructure now groans with commuters stuck in endless congestion.
Traffic and sky-high housing prices mean the best paid workers will spend top dollar to live near a city center — and that means gentrification. Blue collar workers, artists, and pensioners are pushed out and marginalized, sometimes moving into unsafe spaces not meant for communal living. Such was the case in Oakland earlier this Fall, when a deadly fire broke out in a warehouse occupied by artists and young people, killing nearly 40.