Facebook tackles Silicon Valley housing crisis

12 : 07 : 2017 Architecture : Digital : Culture

Silicon Valley – The social media giant is giving back to the community with its proposal for a new affordable neighbourhood.

Willow Campus by Facebook and OMA, Silicon Valley Willow Campus by Facebook and OMA, Silicon Valley
Willow Campus by Facebook and OMA, Silicon Valley Willow Campus by Facebook and OMA, Silicon Valley
Willow Campus by Facebook and OMA, Silicon Valley Willow Campus by Facebook and OMA, Silicon Valley

Facebook is working with local government officials and organisations to realise its vision for Willow Campus, a neighbourhood that will comprise grocery stores, housing, offices and retail spaces. Still in the planning stage, the first phase of construction is due to be completed in early 2021.

Located on the site of a former science and technology park in Silicon Valley, close to Facebook’s global headquarters, 15% of the housing in the living district will cost less than the market rate.

Facebook’s move to Menlo Park at the end of 2011 rapidly pushed up house prices in the area. The monthly rent for a two-bed apartment, which would have cost around £740 ($950, €832) in 2011, has risen to around £2,609 ($3,349, €2,934), according to property data company Rent Jungle.

The Big Picture

  • In acknowledging its role in the local housing crisis and providing a tangible solution, Facebook is presenting itself as a civic-minded brand. For more, see our Civic Brands macrotrend
  • Mega-systems such as Facebook and Amazon are stepping in where local authorities are failing to create systems that benefit local communities. See our Insight for more