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UC Berkeley Press Release

"California at 50 Million," a new series to explore impacts of state's expanding population

– "California at 50 Million," a new University of California, Berkeley, speaker series starting Tuesday, Sept. 28, will explore the demographic, economic and environmental impacts of a state population projected to hit 50 million within the next 20 to 25 years.

High-profile leaders from the public and private sectors generally will meet generally on Tuesdays to explore such issues as California's finances, future needs in terms of roads, education, water and social services, as well as housing and technology for the state's 16 million new residents and 8 million new households.

"No one is really thinking about the long-term future of California," said David Dowall, a UC Berkeley professor of city and regional planning and director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD), which is tackling the subject in the colloquium that will continue through the spring 2005 semester.

The goal, Dowall said, is to bring more attention to serious problems facing the state's burgeoning population, and also to search for solutions.
In the first session, on Sept. 28, Sacramento Bee columnist Peter Schrag, author of "Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future" (UC Press, 1999) and "Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America's Schools" (New Press, 2003), will join UC Berkeley Associate Professor of History Kerwin Klein to look at California's population growth from an historical perspective.

A panel on Wednesday, Oct. 13, exploring demographic issues will include Mary Heim, chief of the demographic research unit of the California Department of Finance, demographer Hans Johnson of the Public Policy Institute of California, UC Berkeley economist and demographer Ronald Lee, and Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning, demography and sociology at the University of Southern California.

Stephen Levy, director and senior economist at the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, Christopher Thornberg, a senior economist with UCLA's Anderson Forecast, and Michael Dardia, vice president of the Sphere Institute think tank in Burlingame, will discuss economic trends on Oct. 19.

Technology will be the topic of discussion on Oct. 26 by Michael Peevey, chair of the state Public Utilities Commission, and AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of UC Berkeley's School of Information Management and Systems.

Additional programs are being finalized for the fall and spring semesters.

For more information about the series, contact the IURD at (510) 642-4874 or visit its Web site at http://www-iurd.ced.berkeley.edu/. The two-hour sessions will take place in Room 305 in Wurster Hall, on the southeast side of campus, starting at 5 p.m.

Series sponsors include the institute, College of Environmental Design, School of Public Health, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.