In my last post, I discussed how moving to the West Coast Conference (WCC) is a great move for UOP, particularly the men’s basketball team. The WCC is stronger in basketball, has more national exposure, and provides more geographic rivalries for the Tigers than the Big West. And while this move helps UOP take the next step in college athletics, it also presents the city of Stockton with a tremendous opportunity: Hosting the WCC men’s basketball conference tournament. Hosting an event of this magnitude would bring in sorely needed revenue from the fans and personnel of the WCC’s other nine teams as well as exposure on the national stage from ESPN. Continue reading
Disclaimer: In addition to being an urban planning nerd, I am also a sports nerd, so the occasional sports post will happen, though I will keep it Stockton-themed. When I first thought up this site, I knew at some point I wanted to dedicate at least one post to UOP’s athletic program. It was going to be titled “Why Pacific should move to the WCC.” Well, today, UOP must have read my mind as the university announced that it will indeed leave the Big West and make the jump to the West Coast Conference. There are several reasons why this is a good move for the school as well as the city: Athletically, the WCC is much more competitive in basketball, which is what Pacific is known for after their string of amazing runs in the mid 2000s. For the city, I will argue that the move to the WCC will bring more exposure to Stockton. I will break these down into two posts. Today, I will lay out why this is a good move for Pacific in terms of athletics… Continue reading
Every so often, I will lay out some simple ideas that could make the city of Stockton more pleasant. Today’s simple fix? Make neighborhood streets smaller.
Real estate research shows that home buyers value neighborhoods with low traffic volume, slow street speeds, and minimal noise. But for some reason, development in Stockton has offered the opposite: wide streets that promote speeding and discourage walking. Anyone who has walked through neighborhoods in North Stockton can see that the streets are designed for cars, not for people. For example, take a look at this street in a North Stockton development… Continue reading
Stockton gets a lot of bad press for rankings: Forbes miserable city “index”, FBI crime rankings, foreclosure lists, etc. Some of this publicity is valid, Stockton can’t hide the face that there is a high crime rate and foreclosures continue to hamstring the city, while others (I’m, looking at you, Forbes) don’t rely on actual data. However, to really understand the state of the city, it helps to look at hard research and analysis that incorporates data and trends from various sources, rather than looking at one survey or one data set to draw entire conclusions about a community. Gallup, known mostly for the political polling services, has a fairly complex tool that attempts to measure the well-being of metro areas across the country. Relying on a number of data sets as well as surveys, the Gallup Well-Being Index is a handy tool that summarizes a handful of key well-being indicators. Here is how Stockton stacks up. Continue reading
Last month, Atlantic Cities, an awesome site for learning about smart growth and urban planning, did a write up about Stockton’s current state of affairs from a planning prospective. The article points out a lot of things I will eventually discuss in the blog, such as how the city’s growth in the North has translated into an unwalkable and frankly unpleasant urban environment for residents. The author points out the city’s Climate Action Plan, which spells out how the city will move forward with lowering emissions, includes several smart-growth elements that should lead to a more sustainable and livable Stockton. Continue reading
For my first post, I think it is very appropriate to start at the core of Stockton’s main problem: excessive growth. Everyone in the city knows that in the 90s and 00s, the booming housing industry pushed the boundaries of the city’s limits. What most people did not see was the effect this growth had on the rest of the city. By expanding outwards, affluent residents abandoned Stockton’s older neighborhoods. The New York Times has a great tool (which can be found here) which shows population changes between 2000 and 2010. Here is what has happened to Stockton during that time (Note: click on the image to zoom in and read). Continue reading