Page 18

Cover Story

ASURGEOF

DIVERSITY

BY GENNADY SHEYNER

Census 2010 shows Palo Alto’s strong growth in the southern neighborhoods and citywide spike in Asian population

File photo/Veronica Weber

Third- and fourth-graders study Mandarin after school at the private Stratford School in Palo Alto in October 2009. The 2010 census showed the number of residents of Asian descent in Palo Alto grew nearly 10 percent points since 2000 as a proportion of the city’s overall population.

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n January 2009, about 100 south Palo Alto residents met inside Palo Verde Elementary School to discuss, and possibly shape, the future of their neighborhood. The meeting focused on an effort by Palo Alto officials to revamp the zoning laws in this portion of the city to accommodate a recent crop of large residential developments. Planning staff and consultants solicited suggestions from residents, who happily obliged. A few lobbied for a new footbridge to span U.S. Highway 101; one proposed a sandwich shop; several lobbied for a bike path and park space. Participants did agree on one thing: The last thing the neighborhood needs is new housing. One resident, Ben Lerner, won nods of approval from other attendees when he complained about changes in Palo Alto always entailing the city becoming “bigger, taller, more crowded, more dense and with more stories.” The demographic data that the U.S. Census Bureau released Tuesday is likely to confirm and quantify the observations of residents in Palo Verde and other south Palo Alto neighborhoods. Over the past decade, Palo Alto has become more populous,

How Palo Alto’s racial diversity has changed Comparing Census data from 2000 and 2010 2000

2010

58,598

64,403

56,698

61,706

White

75.8%

64.2%

Black or African American

2.0%

1.9%

American Indian and Alaska Native

0.2%

0.2%

Asian

17.2%

27.1%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

0.1%

0.2%

Some other race

1.4%

2.2%

1,900

2,697

Total population RACE One race

Two or more races HISPANIC OR LATINO

(Hispanic or Latino is considered an ethnicity)

Hispanic or Latino (of any race) Not Hispanic or Latino

2,722 (4.6%)

3,974 (6.2%)

55,876 (95.4%)

60,429 (93.8%)

Palo Alto Weekly 03.11.2011 - section 1  

Section 1 of the March 11, 2011 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly

Palo Alto Weekly 03.11.2011 - section 1  

Section 1 of the March 11, 2011 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly