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The East Bay has several characteristics and resources that give the region an advantage in the race to grow the green economy. The major cities of the East Bay each have their own distinctive niche in the green economy. In general, the East Bay's progressive politics and history of green consumerism provide a natural market for green products, while local research institutions help foster innovation in new technologies.
With nearly 7% of California's population concentrated into two counties, the East Bay is a major regional market as well as a driver of local economic growth. The East Bay already has a significant number of green establishments that were employing nearly 25,000 people as of 2007.
Our survey of East Bay green businesses found that over half of respondents interact with local universities on a regular basis. In addition, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab employs 4,000 people and has active research programs in several sectors related to the green economy, including biofuels, solar photovoltaics, energy efficient buildings, batteries, fuel cells, and light-emitting diodes. Part of the reason for this well-educated workforce is the large proportion of graduates of UC Berkeley that remain in the Bay Area after graduation.
In addition to its obvious attractiveness, the East Bay's sunny climate also means that the region has a good solar energy resource. The East Bay benefits from a strong network of transportation infrastructure, including two major ports and a major international airport.
Our survey of green businesses in the East Bay indicates that access to the local market is one of the top three factors influencing businesses to locate in the region. Recently, researchers at UCLA calculated an 'environmentalism factor' for each zip code in California based on rates of Green Party registration as well as election results for ballot measures related to environmental issues.
Another illustration of the demand for green products and services can be found in voting patterns.
View the sample English (En Español) census form below, or explore the Census Bureau's interactive form. is a project of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund. Population and Natural Resources case study: How does urban development affect the quality and quantity of natural resources?
A comparison of changes in farmland compared with population in the United States can be seen by looking at the maps below (Figure 1), illustrating these phenomena over time (USGS 2008). Looking at the larger state scale, California is the most populous state in the United States with an estimated 36.8 million residents in 2008 (US Census Bureau 2008a). This combination of a large population with a relatively high growth rate makes California an interesting location to consider the relationship between human population growth and competing land uses.

It should be noted that the administrative areas of these counties spread far beyond the urbanized area, so the density data are misleadingly low. In the early 20th century, this transformation continued as Los Angeles developed into an industrial center, providing economic opportunities for its population and for legions of newcomers.
Additionally, it is important to note that much of the farmland being cultivated today that is not influenced by metropolitan counties is in the arid west, which puts increased pressure on already scarce water resources in the region. A basic geographic pattern of ethnic settlement can be seen associated with changes of land use and economic activity in southern California. In the first half of the 20th century, employment in irrigation agriculture in Los Angeles was generally associated with people of Mexican origin, who came from the geographically closest country to southern California. Perhaps the region's greatest advantage is its head start; Figure 1 shows that there are more green jobs in the East Bay than in any other California region other than Los Angeles. Additionally, the region has recently experienced an influx of funding for renewable energy research and for green job training programs.
The University of California at Berkeley is one of the largest employers in the region and an important driver in innovation.
They found a statistically significant correspondance between the environmentalism factor and the prevalence of the eco-friendly Toyota Prius and LEED-certified buildings. In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, a state ballot measure authorizing the construction of a high-speed rail train, by a margin of 53 to 47.
Describe environmental and economic patterns associated with land use in Southern California.
Explain the importance of the historic context affecting land and river use choices in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Identify some of the impacts of urban population growth on natural resources in that region.
As population spread across the country, the percentage of arable land in counties closest to the densest populations declined. Its rate of population growth was explosive from after World War II to the first years of the 21st century. The explosive population growth in this region growth, in the decades following World War II (Figure 4), led to great increases in the amount of land devoted to urban uses. They may not have perceived relocation to be as culturally jarring as going to more distant relocations. If food is produced further from metropolitan areas, can you think of potential benefits for people? Census Bureau, Census 2000 Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File and 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File.

This page provides more detailed background and statistics on the regional advantage of the East Bay. Accordingly, the people of the Bay Area demonstrate a heightened preference for 'green' and eco-friendly products, as compared to the rest of the state and the country. Their findings, as demonstrated in Figure 7, show that the East Bay features a high environmentalism factor. Population & Natural Resources case study: How does urban development affect the quality and quantity of natural resources? One negative impact of land conversion from agriculture to urban development is the destruction of streams. Although the rate of growth has slowed recently, it was still among the highest in the U.S. As the population grew, land that was formerly used for agriculture in close proximity to Los Angeles became urbanized in Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. California Farmland Conversion Report 2002-2004, 104: California Department of Conservation Division of Land Resource Protection. Summary Report: 1997 Natural Resources Inventory, revised December 2000, US Department of Agriculture. Although rates of population growth have slowed slightly in recent decades in Los Angeles County itself (Figure 4), more distant spaces are now becoming urbanized. The once low-cost agricultural housing has been transformed into relatively affordable single-family housing for commuting workers who travel from Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valleys into Los Angeles. In cases where development is extensive, it will likely increase production and transportation costs by reducing land available for agriculture and resulting in it being further away from the city center, thus making it more expensive to produce food.
Traditional land-use planning regulation and agricultural land conservation: a case study from the USA.
To see just one example of the growth of urban land at the expense of farmland, watch this series of maps depicting the changes in Baltimore, Maryland, over the last 200 years. As increasing numbers of people concentrate in urbanized areas, there is also significant loss of land dedicated to agriculture.
Threat to high market value agricultural lands from urban encroachment: national and regional.

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