Lens on the Population Exodus in Northern California

Michael Lens, associate professor of urban planning and public policy, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about a stark population decline in California, specifically in cities in Northern California. Factors such as the Bay Area’s tech-rich economy have led to an increase in remote work, resulting in an exodus of employees to less expensive locales. “Hundreds of thousands more people would desire to live in the Bay Area — if not millions — and Southern California if we made it easier to accommodate those people through more housing units and presumably more affordable housing,” Lens said. Many remote areas saw an influx of people, but Lens noted that an increase in housing is mostly needed in major cities. Urban centers can grow more efficiently, he said, adding that moving to places with lower population densities could also lead to longer commutes.


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