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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Berkeley Planning Journal is an annual peer-reviewed journal published by graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) at the University of California, Berkeley since 1985.

Las Californias

Editor: Paavo Monkkonen

Editorial Notes

Nota del Editor

La mitologia popular de California, Ia cual nacio junto con su nombre en una novela romantica de caballeria del siglo XVI, sigue vigente. Alternando el paraiso terrenal pletorico de oro y naranjales con Ia pesadilla urbana de desastres ecologicos y violencia, los dos extremos son metaforas adecuadas para Ia region. Y no solo en Alta California, dado que Baja California juega un papel en Mexico parecido al de su vecino en el norte - el de una economia en creciente desarrollo paralela a condiciones de vida bastante desfavorables para muchos de sus pobladores, soberbios escenarios naturales a! frente a un medio ambiente devastado, y una presencia cultural importante en todo el pais.

The popular mythology about California that began with its name, in a 16'h century·chivalric romance novel, continues today. Alternating between an earthly of gold and orange groves, and an urban nightmare of environmental disaster and violence, both extremes are appropriate metaphors for the region. And not only Alta California, as Baja California now holds a place in Mexico similar to that of its neighbor to the north - a rapidly growing economic engine with remarkably poor living conditions for many residents, breathtaking natural landscapes alongside environmental devastation, and an important cultural presence in the country.


Book Reviews

Fifty years of Change on the US-Mexico Border: Growth, Development and Quality of Life By Joan B. Anderson and James Gerber

In Fifty years of Change on the US-Mexico Border: Growth, Development and Quality of Life, Anderson and Gerber have carried out a fascinating quantitative exercise - the comparison of Mex•can border municipios and US border counties based on the standardization of various economic and social indicators - and integrated it into a book that gives an excellent overview of life along the U.5.-Mexico border and various trends during the last five decades.

Hyper-Border. The Contemporary U.S.-Mexico Border and Its Future By Fernando Romero/LAR

Hyper-Border. The Contemporary U.S.-Mexico Border and Its Future is Fernando Romero/LAR's (his architectural firm) attempt to show the complexity of U.S.-Mexico relations in 300 black, white, and magenta pages. This nicely designed book is divided into two main sections. The first contextualizes the U.5.-Mexico border region by presenting basic statistics on both nations and comparing their border with other borders around the world. The second is a compendium of.the major issues pertaining to U.S.-Mexico relations: Security; Narcotraffic and Corruption; the Informal Sector; Migration; Education; Economic Development and Trade; Transportation; Energy; Health; Environment; and Urbanization. The second half also features 38 imaginary scenarios of what the relationship between these two countries might look like in the near future.

Immigrants and Boomers By Dowell Myers

Over the next 20 years, two distinct demographic shifts are expected to impact the U. S. population; a sizable elderly population and a large, younger, immigrant population. In his book Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contractfor the Future ofAmerica, Dowell Myers offers a new context for thinking about how these future demographic shifts will impact life in the United States. By using the immigrant influx to fill in the large gaps expected due to Baby-Boomer retirement, Myers argues for a new social contract between the aging population and the younger immigrant population. Through thoughtful public policy, the interests of the Baby Boomers and the foreign-born populations can dovetail to build a better future.

Regenerating Older Suburbs Edited by Richard B. Peiser and Adrienne Schmitz

Regenerating Older Suburbs is a compliation of articles written by academics and practicioners in design, planning, and real estate development. The primary objective of the book is to propose a set of guidelines on improving public private partnerships aimed at regenerating older inner-ring suburbs. The editors posit that since the 1960s there has been much effort and concentration of resources towards the renewal of inner-city neighborhoods, and a general neglect for improving decaying older suburban neighborhoods at the same time.

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life By Chris Balish

Want to be a millionaire? Pay off all your debt decades before your buddies? Retire early? Be healthier? Chris Balish says you can, and he's not selling you any pills or pyramid schemes. Instead, you can do all of this - and more - by reading How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, an Get More Mileage Out of Life.

Planetizen's Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning Edited by Abhijeet Chavan, Christian Peralta, and Christopher Steins

Planners, both academic and professional, have good reason to be grateful to Christopher Steins and his collaborators for creating and sustaining Planetizen, the lively and provocative web site devoted to ideas and practice in urban planning. Planetizen's appearance in 2001 was a landmark in moving planning into the internet era, and it continues to be a valuable asset for the field. Now, together with co-i!ditors Abhijeet Chavan and Christian Peralta, Steins has produced a book that provides a sampling of Planetizen's past offerings cast into the form of debates in planning. To pull this off and to review the results are no mean tasks. In 183 pages, the book manages to include essays by no less than 31 authors, in addition to comments by numerous anonymous respondents to the original website postings. Some essays were written specifically for the book, but the majority date from Planetizen postings during the years 2001 to 2006.

Won't You Be My Neighbor? Race, Class, and Residence in Los Angeles By Camille Zubrinsky Charles

Residential segregation means that minorities often live in undesirable neighborhoods; yet where we live affects our economic opportunity, social networks, and quality of life. Camille Zubrinsky Charles's book, Won't You Be My Neighbor? Race Class, and Residence in Los Angeles, adds to existing research that has historically focused solely on black-white residential segregation by expanding the scope to include the residential preferences and racial attin_;des of native and foreign-born Latinos and Asians.


Travel Behavior of Mexican and Other Immigrant Groups in California

California is the destination for over one-quarter of immigrants to the United States, and immigrants now make up over one-quarter of the state's population. To ensure that transportation systems and services adequately meet the needs of recent immigrants, planners need a firm understanding of the travel behavior of immigrant groups. This paper reports on key findings from a three-phased study:(1)analysisofdataoncommutetravelofCaliforniaimmigrants from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 Censuses; (2) focus groups with recent Mexican immigrants on their transportation experiences and needs in six California regions; and (3) interviews with community-based organizations in nine California regions on the transportation needs and wants of Mexican immigrants. These findings point to a long list of potential strategies for agencies and organizations to consider in efforts to more effectively meet the transportation needs of Mexican and other immigrants in California.

Luchando por Sus Derechos (Sin Tenerlos): Participacion Politica Informal en Wasco, California

El presente articulo analiza a partir de un estudio de caso Ia participaci6n politica informal de los inmigrantes en el Valle de San Joaquin, California. El objetivo es entender como inmigrantes sin documentos en Estados Unidos de America encuentran una manera de defender sus derechos y desafiar un sistema legal y politico que no les otorga ningun tipo de representaci6n cuando se ven directamente afectados por sus intereses personales o familiares. Asimismo, el articulo muestra con que estrategias los inmigrantes abren espacios de participaci6n politica informal en donde son capaces de tener cierto impacto en Ia politica local estadounidense. Lo hace a !raves del ejemplo del caso del "campito" en Wasco, un labor camp para trabajadores agricolas migrantes quienes las autoridades locales intentaron desalojar debido a que no cuentan con un permiso de residencia en el pais aunque llevaban viviendo alii mas de diez alios. Este caso deja Ia posibilidad de destacar Ia participaci6n politica informal como una forma de expresar los limites de Ia ciudadania.

Nuevos Agentes Sociales, Nuevos Espacios Urbanos y Las Posibilidades De Cambio. Las Artes Visuales en Tijuana

En este articulo se discute Ia relaci6n que existe entre las 16gicas urbanas y sociales de Tijuana y Ia practica de las artes visuales. Se parte de Ia idea de que este espacio transfronterizo es un excelente laboratorio para Ia estimulaci6n de las capacidades creativas. Esto de debe a sus caracteristicas como son: el dinamismo, alto nivel de contraste, precariedad, extrema asimetria, interdependencia, interacci6n, capacidad de trabajo y su espiritu innovador y humanizante. En estos contextos, se muestra como el arte se convierte en salvaci6n y liberaci6n, Ia creatividad en un impulso vital, un acto de sobrevivencia, y el sujeto creador (en particular el artista visual) en un verdadero agente de cambio social. En este articulo tambien se discute como los artistas visuales de Tijuana estan jugando un papel central en Ia redefinici6n de Ia ciudad, de sus dinamicas y de sus posibilidades de cambio. Con el fin de ejemplificar esta practica artistica se presentan - de manera somera­ algunos artistas y proyectos reconocidos.

Effects of Vacancy Decontrol on Berkeley Rental Housing

Rising housing prices in California at the turn of the 21st century may be cause for a reevaluation of rent stabilization policies. Strong rent controls were dismantled in communities like Berkeley in the late 1990s, but little research has been conducted to measure the effects of the policy change on housing availability and rental prices. This paper investigates the impact of the current vacancy decontrol system on housing availability, adequacy, and affordability, while seeking to measure the lingering effects of the vacancy control system on the Berkeley rental housing market.

Falling Behind: California's Interior Metropolitan Areas

From 1969 to 2004 average wages on California's coast grew much faster than those in its interior. In this article, we document this wage gap and link it to education and industrial change. We show that the share of earnings from traditional goods production activities fell on both the coast and in the interior from 1969 to 2000, but that the share of earnings from information-based activities-and the share of educated people who are the crucial inputs to those activities­ rose much more on the coast over the same period. We also show that the wage returns to skill were higher on the coast during this time, which could reflect agglomeration effects or simply the attraction of more productive people to the coast. Immigration had no impact on the metropolitan wage.

El Uso de Servicios de Salud Mexicanos por Ciudadanos Estadounidenses en Tijuana

El desarrollo del sector servtctos ha modificado el espectro no solo de Ia planeaci6n econ6mica de una ciudad sino tambien de Ia planeaci6n fisica. Tal es el caso de Ia ciudad fronteriza mexicana de Tijuana que presenta un notable incremento en actividades relacionadas con Ia salud por ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos de America, generando un incremento en Ia cantidad de clinicas y hospitales en zonas especificas de dicha ciudad, misma que no cuenta con los requerimientos necesarios de equipamiento para satisfacer las demandas propias de esas actividades. Sin embargo, existen condiciones locales que demuestran Ia presencia de ind icadores de "ventaja compa rativa" y que pueden traducirse en oportunidades para ambos paises. Este documento analiza el crecimiento del sector medico en Tijuana, asi como de los aspectos legales locales de Ia planeaci6n del desarrollo urbano Se concluye que es de suma importancia correlacionar las variables de usos del suelo con las politicas de desarrollo econ6mico de Ia ciudad, y que dichas politicas esten fuertemente relacionadas con las estrategias de planeaci6n urbana de Ia misma, ya que de ello depende que el exito de estas actividades sea clave para el desarrollo de Ia ciudad.


Las Maquiladoras Fronterizas, (Modelo Agotado?)

Los esfuerzos por parte de paises en desarrollo para actualizar su capacidad industrial ha llevado a Ia reorganizacion de sus sectores manufactureros. En Mexico Ia viabilidad de este modelo ha sido cuestionada debido al declive de Ia industria maquiladora a lo largo de Ia frontera. Dos razones que explican el declive son frecuentemente discutidas: primero, el aumento de Ia competitividad de paises como China, y segundo, los limites estructurales del modelo de industrializacion basado en exportaciones de manufacturas.

Estearticuloargumentaquehayunimportantedebatesobreel futuro del modelo de Ia maquila, especialmente a lo largo de Ia frontera Mexico - Estados Unidos. Examinar si existe dentro de Ia maquila un proceso de evolucion que facilite el desarrollo de capacidades "in­ house" y de un ambiente institucional nos permitira determinar si el proceso de escalamiento industrial permite una transformacion positiva de los limites tradicionales de este sector. Este articulo concluye que el modelo mexicano de maquila en Tijuana y Ciudad juarez no esta agotado, pero que se enfrenta a grandes retos que resultan en Ia necesidad de las firmas de someterse a una continua reestructuracion.

Border Planning in the San Diego-Tijuana Region: Local Planning and National Policy

Globalization processes are changing the roles of borders around the world. It is considered that with globalization border regions gain independence from their national capitals and are in a position to develop cross border planning efforts with their neighbors. However, in many cases borders are still used as means to exercise sovereignty by limiting the flow of people, goods, and information. Moreover, national governments often have interests conflicting with the economic and environmental development goals of a border region. By looking at the Californias border and focusing on the San Diego-Tijuana region, the largest metropolitan area on the border, this essay aims to illustrate how local city and regional planning is affected by policies at the national level. These policies can take the form of immigration control, anti-terrorism security, trade agreements, or environmental regulation. By looking at three categories of planning issues along the border: economic development, environmenta l protection, and border security, this essay argues for the importance of capitalizing on existing formal cross-border collaboration channels and social ties is a plausible strategy to balance the needs of local agents and national governments.


Kaye Bock Student Paper Award

The Kaye Bock Student Paper Award is given to the author of the paper that is both an outstanding example of scholarship and exemplifies Kaye's commitment to underrepresented issues or peoples. The award is named in loving memory of Kaye Bock to honor her unbounded concern for and commitment to graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning. It is also intended as an expression of gratitude from the Berkeley Planning Journal to Kaye for her critical and caring support of the journal during our first two decades of publication. The winner is chosen by the editors of each volume of the Berkeley Planning Journal. The Kaye Bock Student Paper Award is accompanied by a $250 cash gift.

DCRP Class of 2008

Recent Doctoral Dissertations, Master's Theses, Professional, and Client Reports

Urban Fringe

Subprime Spaces: Foreclosed Dreams in Southern California

San Bernadino and Riverside counties, Southern California's "Inland Empire," have been particularly hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. This crisis did not happen here by accident, but rather was driven by a "geography of speculation." Now the same industries and officials who helped create the mess must clean it up.

The Local Side of Foreclosure

As the foreclosure crisis reaches major proportions in California and the United States, policy makers are looking to help individuals and lending institutions alike. The author argues that policymakers should not forget that not all individuals are affected equally, and that in between national effects and households exists an intermediate levelwhichbearstheimpactin unforeseen ways cities and their neighborhoods.

The Gringos are Coming, The Gringos are Coming...

Mexico is seeing an unprecedented wave of Americans moving south of the border, many of whom are retirees. Rather than grapple with the either the physical or cultural impact that this migration will have on Mexico, most commentators have resorted to bombastic discourse of invasion. Yet rather than dismiss the hyperbole outright, the author argues that perhaps there is something to be learned from the rhetoric, for it anchors us in the history of Las Californias and allows us to question the utility of the border in the modern age.