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Sacramento – A City For 21st Century Gold Miners?

A morning stroll past the demolition site for the Kings Arena followed by reading the Sacramento Press article, Sutter’s Fort Celebrates 175 This Weekend, got me thinking – how will Sacramento attract the 21st century gold miners?

We should celebrate our historic past with our gaze on the horizon.  The Gold Rush and Sutter’s Fort propelled Sacramento forward as a regional destination and this history should be instructive.  An entire city can be built around a vision.  The sustaining power of an idea can be felt in the presence of the fort walls.

It is readily apparent how important planning, infrastructure and vision are to the growth and expansion of a city.  James Parker posed a question in a tweet last month – What could have been without the construction of I-5?  The placement of a freeway dividing our city from the riverfront was the antithesis of visionary.  What infrastructure projects will improve our city?


We are now witnessing the massive, financial investment in a downtown arena to economically revitalize our urban core.  Will this arena rise from the demolition to energize our city?  Our collective dreams are pinned to the vision that this arena will be the catalyst for economic development.

Arena3Photo from sactownroyalty.com

Try to imagine Sutter’s Fort without the Gold Rush.  An arena alone will not be enough to translate Sacramento into a modern, thriving city – it will require more infrastructure investment to realize our dreams.

The excitement in this city is palpable – a new Gold Rush era may be emerging. The R Street Corridor is happening.  Mid-town is bursting.  Then there is the Triangle District in Oak Park with monthly community dinners. This urban spirit is energized with small business ventures like the food tours of Local Roots sprouting in collaboration with Sac Brew Bike – and Edible Pedal partnering with an urban farm located at Fifth & C Streets in West Sacramento.  Our city embraces new coffee shops like The Mill and supports so many new breweries and farm-to-fork events it seems Sacramento is living a Portlandia episode.

The Sacramento Regional Transit mural is just two blocks from Sutter’s Fort and that imagery encapsulates the idea that moving people around a modern city is crucial.


A modern city must transition away from car-centric streets.  This will require infrastructure investments that improve livability – road diets and improved public transit.  In my vision for Sacramento, our city will invest in making every street pedestrian friendly and protected bike lanes will be commonplace.


How should contemporary Sacramento manifest our historic, visionary origins?

Follow my alter-ego Urban Bunny on twitter @sacURBAN.

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