Earlier this month, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) in partnership with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released the Innovation Tri-Valley 2040 Vision Plan. This report is a framework for suggested priorities and initiatives for the next 20 years that are intended to expand and accelerate economic growth in the Tri-Valley while also ensuring the region maintains its high quality of life. More than 1,000 business leaders, educators, government officials, and youth from the Tri-Valley were consulted in the course of developing the 2040 Vision Plan.
“This region is a proven epicenter of solutions,” according to Lynn Naylor, CEO of Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group. “When you combine that positive force with our core values of empathy and inclusion, the new vision for the Tri-Valley is a national model. Top talent will continue to seek out the work-life balance this region uniquely delivers, fueled by a balance of urban and suburban amenities and a robust culture of innovation.”
The report is designed to foster strategic growth in a positive and collaborative culture, according to ITV officials. By 2040, according to the report, the Tri-Valley region should be a place known for five qualities: globally recognized innovation, equity and inclusion, connections and collaboration, a balanced and diverse lifestyle, and being an epicenter of solutions. These five key priorities are purposefully open-ended, according to the report, and “are not meant to be a roadmap with specific directions, but rather a destination that is accessible via a number of different routes.”
As outlined by the report, the five priorities overlap. Globally recognized innovation refers to local breakthroughs in approaches to business, transportation, new homes, and education while equity and inclusion encompass everything from affordable housing to transportation to education to healthcare. Connections and collaboration is defined as partnerships that integrate private and public sectors at scale, while a balanced and diverse lifestyle is described as a diverse mix of suburban living with vibrant downtown areas. Becoming an epicenter of solutions refers to the idea of the Tri-Valley developing its own resilience and sustainability rather than waiting for or relying on outsiders to shape the region’s future.
Additionally, the report makes 24 recommendations grouped under the five themes of world-class talent, critical connections, vibrant placemaking, opportunity for all, and green economy. “Many of the recommendations have overlapping aspects, and there are synergies across different topic areas,” notes the report. “For example, housing policies and transportation investments are inextricably linked, and there are aspects of education policy that also tie into the innovation community.”
Talent is what sets the Tri-Valley apart from other regions, as the report notes. A quarter of the 24 recommended initiatives involve education as a mechanism to maintain and expand the Tri-Valley’s exceptionally well-educated talent pool. Toward that end, the report recommends developing a Lifelong Learning and Innovation Campus as an extension of existing institutions of higher learning. “By bringing together all of the region’s education and knowledge assets, the Tri-Valley can create educational programming for people of every age that builds off of local expertise in technology, innovation, science, music, art, culture, and politics. Inserting the two national laboratories into this model could also open up new possibilities for applied research in the region.”
Many recommendations relate to transportation initiatives. Creating an express bus mobility hub at the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station within Hacienda is one of them. “An express bus system that uses carpool lanes has long been sought by regional planners, and the Tri-Valley should be first in line once a regional express bus network is developed,” according to the report. “With Valley Link meeting BART at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, that station area should become the hub for mobility in and around the region. Express buses that link the Tri-Valley to the Central Valley, north to Walnut Creek and Concord, south to Fremont and San Jose, and across the bay to Silicon Valley would be a boon to commuters and Tri-Valley businesses. If the express bus network were to be complemented by other mobility options at the Dublin/ Pleasanton station, this type of network could solve for both longer commutes and the first- and last-mile problem.”
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group will be sharing the 2040 Vision Plan throughout the community this summer, according to Naylor, who says the organization welcomes the community to download the plan and encourages businesses to join ITV and the working groups that will ensure the five key priorities come to fruition. “With input from our community and partners, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group will prioritize the twenty-four Vision Plan recommendations over the summer. In the Fall of this year, we will share our progress and process moving forward.”
Taking action is critical, according to Naylor and other business leaders as well as public officials and residents consulted for the report. “As Tri-Valley students noted during this visioning process, if leaders do not step up now, the future will remain uncertain,” says Naylor. “Together, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group and Tri-Valley leaders can build a rich future, one where all residents of the Tri-Valley can thrive and one where growing startups and businesses are inspired by the ideas and solutions generated right here in the Tri-Valley ecosystem. It is up to Tri-Valley leaders to follow through with these recommendations and implement these visionary ideas. It is up to all of us to embrace and design our future.”
For more information about Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, please visit www.innovationtrivalley.org.
To download a copy of the 2040 Vision Plan, please visit www.innovationtrivalley.org/about-itv/reports-overview.
For more information about Bay Area Council Economic Institute, please visit www.bayareaeconomy.org.