Why San Francisco? | San Francisco

San Francisco’s $250 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounts for nearly a quarter of total economic output in the Bay Area, placing it at the center of the fastest growing regional economy in the United States in 2022. In 2023, San Francisco-based companies attracted $34.3 billion in venture capital funding, more than any other market in the world, and accounting for more than half of all venture funding in the region that year. 

San Francisco has become the AI Capital of the World, with over 20 percent of all AI job postings in the United States and eight of the top 20 generative AI firms in the country. The AI boom combined with San Francisco’s highly-skilled workforce and concentration of investment has translated to a strong job market with a low unemployment rate and over 15,500 jobs added in the San Francisco metro division in the second half of 2023. 

These strong economic fundamentals led a recent Harvard Business Review analysis by urban studies scholar Richard Florida to conclude that San Francisco remains “the world’s leading high-tech hub and the anchor of its global innovation ecosystem.” 

San Francisco’s global profile was on full display in 2023 as it hosted the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) summit of world leaders and other major conferences like Dreamforce that brought 400,000 visitors and $725 million in economic impact to the city, and international air travel returned to pre-pandemic levels, with SFO welcoming 50 million passengers.  

The foundation of San Francisco’s economy and identity remains centered Downtown – 
from the Financial District and the transit spine of Market Street to the shopping, theater, museum and cultural destinations of Union Square and Yerba Buena, the iconic Embarcadero waterfront and historic Jackson Square, key hubs like Moscone Center and Salesforce Park, and the growing office and industry clusters south of Market and into Mission Bay. 
With over 86 million square feet of commercial office space, one of the densest and most walkable downtowns in the United States, a world-class network of parks and plazas including the iconic waterfront, leading academic and research institutions, and a robust public transit network offering unparallel connections to the entire Bay Area, downtown San Francisco continues to represent a unique value with unrivaled potential.  

In order to position San Francisco for the future, the City has taken strategic actions that respond to new economic trends and challenges head-on, while continuing to invest in the strengths and assets that are the core pillars of San Francisco’s competitiveness. Throughout history, San Francisco has reinvented itself to bounce back from seemingly existential threats, and this moment is another opportunity to do just that, starting where it always has, in downtown. 


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