SOURCE: League of California Cities

April 23, 2008 13:32 ET

California's Growth Issues Compound Challenges of Sustainability

Western City Magazine Series Offers In-Depth Analysis

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - California is simultaneously tackling the issues of a dramatically growing population, crumbling infrastructure and a monumental commitment to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a relatively short amount of time. The question of how to responsibly address growth and sustainability is facing California's local and state elected officials who must provide services -- roads, housing and water to name a few -- to an ever increasing number of residents.

Californians are confronted on a daily basis with gridlock and the stress of commuting long distances in heavy stop-and-go traffic. Transportation and housing issues go hand in hand because people who can't afford a home near their job are forced to make a long commute, contributing to air pollution and a diminished quality of life.

This presents a Catch 22 in terms of how California will meet the emissions reduction targets established by AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. In addition, the need for housing to accommodate a growing population means that valuable agricultural land and open space are sacrificed to development. Local communities need the state to invest in infrastructure, water, transit and transit-oriented development so they can grow in a way that improves the quality of life for Californians and combats climate change.

These growth-driven challenges are compounding daily. To help start a discussion about growth -- not just with elected officials but also with California's 37 million residents -- Western City, the monthly magazine of the League of California Cities, produced "How Should California Grow?," a series of perspectives on these growth-related issues from a diverse group of experts, opinion leaders and policy-makers who offer approaches for solving the interconnected problems our state faces.

We hope this series will inspire additional discussion with further news coverage and in-depth analysis. We urge reporters to take the topics covered -- demographics, land use, housing, infrastructure and water -- and explore them with their audiences. The expert authors are available for interviews.

The League of California Cities is an association of California city officials who work together to enhance their knowledge and skills, exchange information and combine resources so that they may positively influence policy decisions that affect cities. The opinions expressed in "How Should California Grow?" are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the League's policies.

Please contact Eva Spiegel, communications director, for a copy of the series at (916) 658-8228 or espiegel@cacities.org.

League Contacts:

Jim Madaffer: President, League of California Cities, and Council Member, San Diego, (916) 658-8200

Chris McKenzie: Executive Director, League of California Cities, (916) 658-8200

Leading Experts/Authors

William Fulton: president, CEO, Solimar Research Group, (805) 643-7700 ext. 105

Hans Johnson: associate director and senior research fellow, Public Policy Institute of California, (415) 291-4400

Carol Whiteside: founding director (retired), Great Valley Center, (209) 522-5103

Ellen Hanak: associate director and senior research fellow, Public Policy Institute of California, (415) 291-4400

Yazdan Emrani: president, American Society of Civil Engineers Orange County, (949) 855-8300

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Eva Spiegel
    (916) 658-8228
    Cell (530) 400-9068

    1400 K Street, Suite 400
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Phone: (916) 658-8200
    Fax: (916) 658-8240
    www.cacities.org