A sphere of influence (SOI) is an area or region over which an organization or state exerts some kind of indirect cultural, economic, military or political domination. Also, in some areas of habitation, shopping or retail outlets or indeed destination outlets, have a sphere of influence over towns of certain areas, for example the Central business district (CBD). (LAFCo Definition)
The definition of Spheres of Influence above concentrates on political definitions of areas or regions and neglects the cultural definition created by a majority of residents. In our e-chain discussions, we determined that the Diablo Road corridor is a natural and cultural divider from the tri-valley cultures to the south and the "Alamorinda" cultures to the north. We concluded Piedmont to Walnut Creek is the "Alamorinda" sphere of influence as bordered by Ignacio Valley Road corridor on the north and Diablo Road corridor on the south and extends west to Piedmont and east to the Boundary Oaks area.
By contrast, LAFCo attempts to label small enclaves as spheres of influence related to city governments. LAFCo's focus is on services providers and not the cultural definition of REGIONS. "Alamorinda" has only a small faction of individuals that identify with Danville and the San Ramon Valley and a vast majority of the culture south of the Diablo Road corridor has no cultural link to "Alamorinda."
City boundaries now and projected have little to do with cultural sphere of influence and how people define their region and lifestyle. Political preferences rather than political boundaries further define regions as spheres of influence. Current and prospective cities exist within political boundaries but do not exist as cultural spheres of influence.
What are your thoughts?
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