Saturday, July 5, 2014

Two articles on two centuries of San Francisco boom towns

There are two nice articles out this week on land use in San Francisco.  

The first is in the New Yorker and called "California Screaming."  (A subscription is required to view the entire article.)  It's a good look at the city's land use issues in light of the tech explosion there.  Those who have practiced land use law in the city (like me) will recognize a number of familiar names in the article.  

The New Republic also has a nice article, "San Francisco Mapped Every Brothel, Opium Den, and Gambling Parlor During a Moral Panic in the 1880s," on an extraordinary effort by San Francisco to map vice in the city's booming nineteenth century Chinatown, and not exactly for the best of reasons.   See example map below:


It is a fascinating tale of the troubling uses of social mapping, which in the hands of other groups like Hull House, was equally a tool for progressive social change. 

Hat tip to Lee Dillion for the latter link.

Stephen R. Miller

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