Infrastructure and Investment

As California moves deeper into the 21st century, new technologies have changed the way that people interact with infrastructure—especially in the fields of communications and energy. The infrastructure of the future requires the development of connectivity across a resilient, flexible, and diverse electricity grid, which will need to support a clean energy future while also powering a growing number of advanced communication demands. To capture the full economic benefits of 21st century infrastructure investments, the state will need forward-looking planning and a regulatory structure that can adapt to rapidly changing technologies and consumer demands.

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Report

Innovation Platform

From this high-level review, it appears that despite some attrition in corporate innovation offices the global innovation presence remains strong.
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Optimizing Land Uses Near Transit Stations

There have been numerous studies bolstering the case for residential development near transit stations. Less understood, however, are the benefits of commercial development near transit and what increased office and retail space along key transit corridors could mean for the Bay Area’s transit system, regional labor force, and economy more broadly.
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The Future of Advanced Technology and Basic Research

California is globally recognized as the world’s leading center for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurial opportunity. While most concentrated in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley Bay Area, technology assets are spread throughout the state. The economic strength that flows from this unique capacity has produced high-value jobs and world-leading companies and puts California at the leading edge of current and emerging technologies that will transform the world’s economy in coming decades. The income that this activity generates is also a critical source of revenue for the state through personal income taxes (PIT) due to the substantial workforce dedicated to advancing technology in California. In the state’s 2019-2020 fiscal year, PIT accounted for 66.19 percent of California’s General Fund revenues, much of which are driven by taxation on technology initial public offerings (IPOs) and stock gains.
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The True Cost of Wildfires

Wildfires are now an annual concern for many of the state’s residents, particularly in and around the Bay Area. Households in fire-prone areas plan for defensible space and exit strategies in the case of a wildfire, and even those in urban areas prepare for the potential of smoke-laden skies and the health impacts they bring. Now, each wildfire season seems to bring weeks of deadly and dangerous air quality, along with destroyed businesses, homes, neighborhoods, and livelihoods.
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Bay Area Economic Profile 2020

The report includes chapters focused on housing and transportation, venture capital and innovation, income inequality, higher education, regional migration, globalization trends, and labor force participation. The chapters provide data points that offer early insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted different aspects of the region and economy in 2020 to help the region plan for a strong and equitable economic recovery.
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Bay Area Homelessness

The Bay Area’s homelessness crisis was created by policy failures at all levels of government; interventions at all levels of government are needed to solve it. Rather than pursuing a shelter mandate, the Bay Area should use existing but unused tools at its disposal to raise $10 billion in new regional revenue to expand its inventory of emergency shelters and permanent housing. The region should pair this investment with new additional state and federal support for affordable housing and homelessness prevention, especially via proven programs like Project Homekey and Section 8. These investments should be paired with state policy reforms to boost housing production and reduce pressure on low-income renters, and to reduce local powers to halt shelter production. Although the Bay Area is a wealthy region, it cannot solve homelessness by itself.
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New Transbay Rail Crossing: Making the Case for a Key Megaregional Connection

This report explains interconnected nature of the economy in Northern California Megaregion and examines the economic potential that a more efficient rail transit system could bring to the megaregion. The report examines how unlocking the transbay bottleneck with a new transbay rail crossing is an integral investment in building a connected rail network in the Northern California Megaregion and how that network would transform rail travel across the 21-county megaregion. 
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Energy Storage

This report focuses on the emerging need for grid-scale storage, which must be prioritized but faces significant regulatory and market barriers. It presents an overview of projected energy storage needs, available technologies, market challenges, and regulatory policy developments, and it offers recommendations for how to accelerate investment in and deployment of new storage capacity. Accelerated progress toward meeting that goal will be essential to achieving a more flexible, balanced, low-carbon 21st century grid in California.
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The Economic Impacts of Infrastructure Investment

This analysis explores Santa Clara County’s current transportation characteristics, highlights planned projects, and quantifies the economic impacts of the county's November 2016 transportation ballot measure.
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Investing with Purpose

Over the last decade, the idea of impact investing—marrying financial returns with social returns—has moved from a nascent investment theory employed by a few philanthropic organizations and forward-thinking fund managers to a widely known buzzword in the investment industry. Investing with Purpose: Unlocking the Economic Potential of Impact Investments dissects the concept of impact investing and its potential social effects, and concludes with a set of recommendations for structural adjustments in the impact investing field.
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The Case for a Second Transbay Transit Crossing

Over the last decade, the idea of impact investing—marrying financial returns with social returns—has moved from a nascent investment theory employed by a few philanthropic organizations and forward-thinking fund managers to a widely known buzzword in the investment industry. Investing with Purpose: Unlocking the Economic Potential of Impact Investments intents to dissect the concept of impact investing and its potential social effects, and concludes with a set of recommendations for structural adjustments in the impact investing field.
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The Benefits of 21st Century Infrastructure

Given California’s unique industry mix of communications, information technology, clean energy, advanced materials, and other technical sectors, the state is well positioned to harness infrastructure innovations for significant state and regional benefit. This new infrastructure …

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