This article investigates the political processes and attitudes that have prevented San Francisco from adequately dealing with many of its challenges. It posits that the city is at risk of becoming a caricature of its former self if attitudes towards accepting and preparing for the future do not change as a chronic shortage of housing threatens to push many long-time residents out. The history of anti-development attitudes since the 1980s is reviewed, tracing the rebound from post-industrial decline to becoming a highly desirable residential location and the home to some of the world’s most innovative companies.

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