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As Facebook Moves Headquarters, Urban Design on its Mind

Over the course of this year, Facebook will begin moving its operations from Palo Alto to Menlo Park, taking over the old 57-acre Sun Microsystems complex. And to court its new neighbors, the social network has set its mind on urban design, reports The Wall Street Journal.

On 5 March, Facebook will host a 12-hour so-called design charrette with its employees, architects and residents to discuss the city’s infrastructure and revenue, the Journal said.

For example, some points of discussion will be on how to “refine the perimeter” of Facebook’s campus, how to handle traffic, and how to build up amenities and housing in the area, the Journal reports.

Menlo Park is reportedly divided over residential and business interests; and Facebook will present a plan to the city next year for further development.

“We don’t want to put up fences,” Facebook director of real estate John Tenanes told the Journal. “I am excited to see what people’s visions are for the area.”

In a news conference addressing Facebook’s arrival, Menlo Park mayor Richard Cline said, “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.”

Cline’s thoughts on Facebook’s impact on the city are echoed by City Council member Andrew Cohen, who told the Journal a tenant the size of Facebook should be “forthcoming and understanding” of Menlo Park’s “not insignificant” needs.

[via WSJ]
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