San Francisco—For all the optimism, innovation and wealth that are produced here, the Bay Area can also feel like a place that doesn’t work quite right. The cost of housing has priced out teachers and line cooks. Income inequality is among the wildest in the nation. The homeless crisis never seems to ebb. Traffic is a mess. On bad days, transit is, too. And local governments are locked in conflict.
Clearly, the region has not been optimized.
“It could be so much better,” said Ben Huh, who moved to San Francisco in 2016 after running the Cheezburger blog empire in Seattle. “There’s so much wealth. There’s so much opportunity.”
In the maddening gap between how this place functions and how inventors and engineers here think it should, many have become enamored with the same idea: What if the people who build circuits and social networks could build cities, too? Wholly new places, designed from scratch and freed from broken policies.
Badger, Emily. “Tech Eyes the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City.” The New York Times, 25 Feb. 2018.