R&D Pontential in San Francisco’s Housing Issues

San Francisco is the most expensive city in the USA to buy a home or even rent. The average house cost $1,360,000. Average rent for a one bedroom apartment is $3,590 per month. There is a video about this topic.

There are several factors

  1. Surrounded by water on three sides
  2. Land area of 46 square miles with over 864,000 people living on that piece of land
  3. Height limit on buildings
  4. Strong demand for living in San Francisco

In short, one cannot built horizontally and building vertically is limited.This is the question. How does one alleviate housing issues in San Francisco working with very little land and height limits on buildings?

Though the video does touch on this subject, this entry will be more detailed. There is another issue to contend with. Earthquakes. San Francisco has been hit by earthquakes and with severe damage and loss of life. With this, San Francisco could be a major center of research and development for housing. With a high percentage of university students and college-educated individuals due to several universities in the Bay Area, this could be a very good place to start. Research could be conducted as how to solve housing problems in cities with miniscule land area, height restrictions, and environmental issues to contend with, like earthquakes.

What solutions could be brainstormed?

We could look at how other places with similar issues are dealing with this problem. In The Netherlands, floating houses are being built.


The Netherlands is a nation that has had to deal with the sea, and with limited amounts of land. New land has been created by reclamation. Now, floating homes are being experimented with in The Netherlands. In San Ftancisco, houseboats are being used. And there is a community of floating homes.


It is a question of how much further this idea can be expanded. Will it be effective? Will it cause environmental issues?

Could reclaimed land be the solution? Parts of San Francisco are already built from reclaimed land. In theory, it can be done. Will it cause more damage to the environment? There is another thing to look at. Will the ground be stable? San Francisco is in an earthquake zone. If an earthquake occurs, liquefaction would destroy buildings constructed on the reclaimed land. This has already happened in Japan, in 2011.


This is one reason San Francisco would be a great place for research and development in terms of urban design is because of its own unique geography, which affects how house takes place. The Bay Area is already a major high tech hub due to Silicon Valley. And with high numbers of college educated individuals and college students in places such as UCSF, SFSU, SJSU, UC-Berkeley, and Stanford, this would be a great place to have an urban design R&D center. One major question would be where to put it. It would leave plenty to look at in terms of developing innovative solutions in response to one’s geography.


Map of the USA’s GDP

A map can reveal alot of things. For instance, this map from Business Insider.

What the map reveals is where half of the GDP comes from. And according to the map, half of it comes from the top 23 metropolitan areas of the USA.

gdp map.png

What this map does not show, however, is by what industries the GDP in the USA comes from. According to the information provided, the NYC-Newark-Jersey City metro has the highest GDP, $1.3 trillion. It makes sense as this is the largest metropolitan area in the nation. New York City is the major financial center of the USA. This metro area also has a major port industry, as alot of maritime trade takes place here. This is also a very expensive place to rent or buy a home. And manufacturing contributes a significant amount to the economy in this area. High technology is a growing industry in the NYC metropolitan area. The top 5 industries by GDP in the USA are: Real Estate/renting/leasing, government, finance/insurance, healthcare, and durable manufacturing.

Lets look at other metros, like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. All of these cities are major trading centers, as all of them are on water. Houston is home to ConocoPhillips, the 4th largest corporation in the USA by revenue, as well as the 3rd largest energy company in the USA. Houston is a major oil-producing region, home to the Energy Corridor. Chicago is a major transportation and distribution center because of its geography. Insurance plays an important part of Chicago’s economy. Chicago is also a major financial center in the USA. It is home to the Chicago Stock Exchange. Although not as significant as it once was, manufacturing still plays a part in Chicago’s economy. Los Angeles is known for its entertainment industry. However lets not focus only there. 6 Fortune 500 companies make their home in Los Angeles. Occidental Petroleum, Health Net, Reliance Steel and Aluminium, AECOM(engineering firm), CBRE Group(real estate firm), and Tutor Perini Corporation(building contractor company). All represent major parts of the economy, such as the energy sector, manufacturing, health, and real estate. Los Angeles metropolitan area is the largest manufacturing center in the western USA.

The map shows which places contribute to 50% of the USA’s GDP. It does not say which industries are part of it or which industries those particular cities have. In order to understand geography, one has to look at the map, and then look beyond it.


National Park Service at 100.

On August 25, 1916, then President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act, passed by Congress.

Today is the 100th birthday of the U.S. National Park Service. The National Park is a part of the Department Of The Interior. National parks are such as important part of geography. These parks play a role in preserving our ecosystems, land that has been endangered of being destroyed. In short, the role of the NPS is to preserve the ecological integrity of wildernesses in the USA. It is there to preserve historical monuments as well.

It  also makes these areas accessible to the public, for all to enjoy. Activities such as hiking and swimming are among the activities that take place at national parks. In a major way, the NPS is an example of how human and physical geography works. The national parks encompass a variety of landscapes, ranging from the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevadas, to the wetlands of Florida, the woodlands and lakes of Michigan, the geothermal landscape of Yellowstone. Humans are attracted to these places for its natural beauty. Over 280 million people visit the multitudes of national parks annually.


These are just some examples


Rio Summer Olympics In Winter.

As the title states, this geographic entry is about the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be the first city in South America to host the Summer Olympic games. It will be the 3rd host city from the Southern Hemisphere (Mebourne and Sydney are the first and second respectively).

Rio de Janeiro is the first city to host the Summer Olympics exclusively in the WINTER?

Yes, this is the case. It is winter in the host city of Rio de Janeiro. The sports are for the Summer Olympics, but the season is winter in the majority of Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, at 22.9068° S, is located in the Southern Hemisphere. As we learned in school, when it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This is why. The Earth reaches is maximum axial tilt towards the sun at the latitude of 23° 26′ below and above the Equator. When the sun reaches 23° 26′ N(Tropic of Cancer), it is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, Between June 20 and June 21 every. It is the longest day of the year in North America. What causes it to be summer in North America causes it to be the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The axial tilt of the Earth is furthest away from 23° 26′ S (Tropic of Capricorn), it is the winter solstice.

Considering that the 2016 Summer Olympics are being held in August, this is exclusively winter in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is not the first time a Summer Olympiad has been held outside of Summer. This happened for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, held in between Sydney, Australia’s winter and spring, as it was held from 15 September 2000 to 1 October 2000. The 1956 Summer Olympics were held during the spring time in Melbourne, Australia. The equestrian events, however, were held in Stockholm, Sweden in June 1956 due to quarantine issues. The 1896 games were held in April, in Athens, Greece. The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were held completely in autumn, as was the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

As for the 2016 Summer Olympics, it leaves something for all of us to consider. Yes, it is summer for North America and Europe, where alot of media outlets covering the games are headquartered, and it’s summer where the International Olympic Committee is located, in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is winter in the host city though, the first time it is exclusively winter for the Summer Games in the host city.