Faithful readers may recall that I spent a week in the Bay Area in January, researching a story on the urbanism of Silicon Valley. The story, which grew into a lengthy critical essay, was born out of the comments on my post on the ring-shaped design of Apple’s new headquarters. Commenters said, in nice and not-so-nice ways, that you can’t accuse a Silicon Valley company of being suburban, because there’s no other option.
But why then, I wondered, were companies like Facebook importing the coffee shops and bike stores, cafe culture and farmers markets of the city to those suburbs? What did they see in the city and, seeing that, why wouldn’t they move there?
You can finally download and read that essay, titled “The Dot-Com City: Silicon Valley Urbanism” here, where it is part of a series issued by the brand-new publishing house Strelka Press.