Facebook and spatial implications in Menlo Park
I'm generally not that interested in social networking sites per se... but this article in the WSJ sent on the Dr. Fish list caught my attention. It basically addresses the implication of Facebook upcoming move from Palo Alto (University avenue) to Menlo park on a new campus, which it is taking over from Sun Microsystems.
What's interesting in this article is simply the whole set of questions that is raised by this move. Some excerpts I found intriguing:
"The proposals will tackle how to refine the perimeter of the fortress-like campus, how to handle traffic as Facebook boosts staffing as well as how to build up housing and services such as stores in an area that currently doesn't even have a major grocery market. (...) At a city hall news conference Feb. 8 to announce Facebook's arrival, Mayor Richard Cline acknowledged there were debates to come. "We're going to talk about what we can do, what we can't do, we're going to talk about traffic, we're going to talk about transit, we're going to talk about tax money and we're going to talk about public benefit," he said. "We're going to have a fight and it's going to be loud." (...) Facebook doesn't require city approval to move in this summer, since it is taking over an existing (albeit largely empty) campus (...) Part of Facebook's interest in the community stems from its desire to replicate the college neighborhood feel it had in Palo Alto as a start-up. That won't be easy on the former Sun campus, which was once dubbed Sun Quentin by employees—a reference to the San Quentin prison—because it is separated by a major highway from the rest of the city. (...) "The real issue is density. If the intent is to increase density substantially, the problem is that the infrastructure for it just doesn't exist.""
Why do I blog this? This is just fascinating, especially when thinking of Facebook as a dual entity: a huge on-line community on one side and a company on the other side. I am wondering on how the culture developed by such a company influence the spatial/environmental/social decisions it will take in a place like this.