The San Francisco Bay Area

Monday, 19 March 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, San Francisco Bay Area
Reading Time:  6 minutes

San Francisco Cable Car on California Street © Fred Hsu/cc-by-sa-3.0

San Francisco Cable Car on California Street © Fred Hsu/cc-by-sa-3.0

The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun estuaries in California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is generally accepted to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. Other sources may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or include neighboring counties such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz. Among locals, the nine-county Bay Area can be divided into five sub-regions: the East Bay, North Bay, South Bay, Peninsula, and the city of San Francisco. Although geographically located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, the city of San Francisco is not considered part of the “Peninsula” subregion, but as a separate entity. San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area, while San Francisco is clearly the culturally dominant one.

Home to approximately 7.68 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a complex multimodal transportation network. The larger combined statistical area of the region, which includes twelve counties, is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 41st-largest urban area in the world with 8.75 million people. The Bay Area’s population is ethnically very diverse.

Napa Valley welcome sign © Stan Shebs/cc-by-sa-3.0 AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, situated along the waterfront of the San Francisco Bay © Coasttocoast/cc-by-sa-3.0-en Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay at nightfall © Dan Lorca/cc-by-2.5 Golden Gate Bridge at night © Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-3.0 Google in Mountain View © flickr.com - John Marino/cc-by-sa-2.0 Marin County Civic Center © Fizbin Oakland night skyline and Lake Merritt © flickr.com - Darin Marshall/cc-by-sa-2.0 San Francisco Bay Area map © PerryPlanet San Francisco Cable Car on California Street © Fred Hsu/cc-by-sa-3.0 San Francisco City Hall © Cabe6403/cc-by-sa-3.0 San Francisco's Painted Ladies © UH Santana Row in San Jose © flickr.com - Payton Chung/cc-by-2.0 Santa Cruz Boardwalk © Matt314/cc-by-2.5 Sonoma City Hall © Cory Maylett/cc-by-sa-3.0 Stanford University campus © Jawed Karim./cc-by-sa-3.0 University of California, Berkeley campus © flickr.com - brainchildvn/cc-by-2.0
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AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, situated along the waterfront of the San Francisco Bay © Coasttocoast/cc-by-sa-3.0-en
The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlements in the Bay Area dates back to 3000 BC. In 1769, the Bay Area was inhabited by the Ohlone people when a Spanish exploration party led by Gaspar de Portolà entered the Bay – the first documented European visit to the Bay Area. After Mexico established independence from Spain in 1821, the region was briefly controlled by the Mexican government until the United States seized the territory in 1846 during the Mexican–American War. Soon after, discovery of gold in California attracted a flood of treasure seekers, many using ports in the Bay Area as an entry point. During the early years of California’s statehood, state legislative business rotated between three locations in the Bay Area before a permanent state capital was established in Sacramento. A major earthquake leveled the city of San Francisco and environs in 1906, but the region quickly rebuilt in time to host the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. During World War II, the Bay Area played a major role in America’s war effort in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, with San Francisco’s Fort Mason acting as a primary embarkation point for American forces. In 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, establishing the United Nations, and in 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco officially ended the U.S.’s war with Japan. Since then, the Bay Area has experienced numerous political, cultural and artistic movements, developing unique local genres in music and art and establishing itself as a hotbed of progressive politics. Economically, the post-war Bay Area saw huge growth in the financial and technology industries, creating a vibrant and diverse economy with a gross domestic product of over $700 billion, and home to the second highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States.

Despite its urban character, the San Francisco Bay is one of California’s most ecologically important habitats, providing key ecosystem services such as filtering pollutants and sediments from the rivers, and supporting a number of endangered species. The region is also known for the complexity of its landforms, the result of millions of years of tectonic plate movements. Because the Bay Area is crossed by six major earthquake faults, the region is particularly exposed to hazards presented by large earthquakes. The climate is temperate and generally very mild, and is ideal for outdoor recreational and athletic activities such as hiking. The Bay Area is host to seven professional sports teams and is a cultural center for music, theater, and the arts. It is also host to several institutions of higher education, ranging from primary schools to major research universities. Home to 101 municipalities and nine counties, governance in the Bay Area is mutlifaceted and involves numerous local and regional actors, each with wide-ranging and overlapping responsibilities.

Read more on Association of Bay Area Governments, VisitCalifornia.com – San Francisco Bay Area, Wikitravel San Francisco Bay Area, Wikivoyage San Francisco Bay Area and Wikipedia San Francisco Bay Area (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.










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