Sacramento | In-Person

Is the Central Valley Finally Embracing Its Urban Future?

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press.

A Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation Event
Moderated by Dan Morain, Editorial Page Editor, The Sacramento Bee

California’s Central Valley is widely regarded as rural and agricultural, even by those who live there. But its reality and future are profoundly urban. The valley’s cities appear small only in comparison with the mega-metropolitan regions along the California coast. More people live in Fresno and Sacramento than Atlanta or Miami. Bakersfield is bigger than Tampa or St. Louis, while Stockton has a larger population than Pittsburgh or Cincinnati. Now, valley cities, after struggling to build infrastructure equal to their growing size and importance, seem to be catching up with their urban needs—adding more cultural venues, revamping downtowns, and developing new transit and water systems. What more must California’s Central Valley do to embrace its new reality? And how can valley cities build healthier communities for their citizens? Fresno State president Joseph I. Castro, Valley Vision managing director Meg Arnold, Placer County Schools superintendent Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, and Davis city manager Dirk Brazil visit Zócalo to discuss the rapidly urbanizing Central Valley. 

Lunch will be provided.

Capitol Event Center
1020 11th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Paid parking is available at the Capitol Garage (located at the intersection of 10th and L Streets) and City Hall Garage (located at the intersection of 11th and I Streets). Click here for parking map.

The Takeaway

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 …