CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

It’s Time for the Central Valley to Grow Up

Bridging the Region’s Urban-Rural Character Requires Unity and Planning

“Are we urban or are we rural?” moderator Dan Morain asked at the start of a lively Wednesday panel discussion on the future of California’s Central Valley.

“Both” was the answer that emerged over the course of the hour-long exchange among Morain, editorial page editor and political affairs columnist for The Sacramento Bee, and a panel of civic, education, and community leaders before a packed audience at the Capitol Events Center in downtown Sacramento.

The lunchtime event, co-presented by Zócalo Public Square and The California Wellness Foundation, was built around the query, “Is the Central Valley Finally Embracing Its Urban Future?” Even as the Central Valley’s population swells in cities such as Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Stockton, and officials grapple with characteristically urban challenges like air pollution, soaring housing costs, and sagging infrastructure, California’s San Joaquin Valley still retains its agricultural …