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City of Redwood City
—  City  —
The skyline of downtown Redwood City

Motto: Climate Best by Government Test
Location in San Mateo County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°28′58″N 122°14′10″W / 37.48278°N 122.23611°W / 37.48278; -122.23611Coordinates: 37°28′58″N 122°14′10″W / 37.48278°N 122.23611°W / 37.48278; -122.23611
Country United States
State California
County San Mateo
Incorporated March 27, 1868
 - Mayor Rosanne Foust
 - Total 34.6 sq mi (89.5 km2)
 - Land 19.5 sq mi (50.5 km2)
 - Water 15.1 sq mi (39.1 km2)  43.66%
Elevation 20 ft (6 m)
Population (2006)
 - Total 79,000
 Density 3,871.3/sq mi (1,494.7/km2)
  California Department of Finance Estimate
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 94059, 94061-94065
Area code(s) 650
FIPS code 06-60102
GNIS feature ID 0277584

Redwood City is a suburb located on the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Redwood City is the county seat of San Mateo County. It was originally part of the Rancho de las Pulgas. As of the 2006 census, the city had a total population of 79,000. The Port of Redwood City is the only deepwater port on San Francisco Bay south of San Francisco.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.6 square miles (89.5 km²), of which 19.5 square miles (50.5 km²) is land and 15.1 square miles (39.1 km²) (43.66%) is water. A major watercourse draining much of Redwood City is Redwood Creek, to which several significant sloughs connect, the largest of which is Westpoint Slough.

Redwood City's sphere of influence includes the districts of Emerald Lake Hills and North Fair Oaks, which, however, are largely outside the city boundaries and are counted individually for the U.S. census. Palomar Park, just north of Emerald Hills and east of San Carlos' Crestview area, is another Redwood City neighborhood that is formally part of unincorporated San Mateo County. The neighborhood of Redwood Shores is part of Redwood City, although it is not possible to travel by road from one to the other without passing through the neighboring city of San Carlos. Although Redwood City is mainly upper middle-class, the eastern section of Redwood City highly resembles North Fair Oaks and East Palo Alto in demographic make-up and income level.

El Camino Real, a northwest/southeast arterial street and Woodside Road, a north-northeast/south-southwest arterial, run through Redwood City. Locally, the former is regarded as north/south and the latter east/west, as El Camino connects Redwood City to San Francisco and San Jose and Woodside Road runs from San Francisco Bay to the Santa Cruz Mountains. The actual geography is as stated.


The National Weather Service, which maintains both a forecast center and a cooperative office in Redwood City, reports that December is the coolest month and July is the warmest month. The record highest temperature of 110°F (43.3°C) was recorded on July 14 and 15, 1972. The record lowest temperature of 16°F (-8.8°C) was recorded on January 11, 1949. Annually, there are an average of 21.6 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and 2.8 days with highs of 100°F (38°C) or higher; there are an average of 10.4 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower.

The normal annual precipitation is 20.16 inches (51.20 cm). The most rainfall in one month was 12.42 inches (31.55 cm) in February 1998. The record 24-hour rainfall of 4.88 inches (12.4 cm) was on October 13, 1962. There are an average of 62.1 days with measurable precipitation. Snow flurries have been observed on rare occasions; there was some minor snow accumulation in May 1935, January 1962 and February 1976.

Climate data for Redwood City, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 57.7
Average low °F (°C) 39.1
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.20
Source: "Climatography of the United States," National Climatic Data Center (


As of the census[1] of 2008, there were 75,508 people, 27,423 households, and 17,898 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,871.3 people per square mile (2,494.5/km²). There were 29,194 housing units at an average density of 2,484.8/sq mi (683.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.9% White, 6.24% African American, 2.61% Native American, 8.0% Asian, 4.98% Pacific Islander, 11.5% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 48.84% of the population.

There were 27,423 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.62 and the average family size was 4.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.4 males.

According to a 2008 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $70,679, and the median income for a family was $80,964. Nevertheless, because of the extremely high cost of living in Redwood City, certain jobs (especially in the service industry) pay over $50,000 a year in Redwood City, and in other parts of the country these jobs would be classified as low-income. Disposable income is relatively constant when Redwood City is compared with the rest of the country, however.[2] Males had a median income of $49,345 versus $43,125 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,042. About 6.9% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

City Hall (surrounded by Redwood trees)


In the state legislature Redwood City is located in the 11th Senate District, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Ira Ruskin. Federally, Redwood City is located in California's 12th and 14th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +22 and D +18 respectively[3]. The 12th is represented by former State Senator Jackie Speier, who won the April 2008 special congressional election to complete the rest of the term made vacant by the death of Democrat Tom Lantos. The 14th is represented by Democrat Anna Eshoo.


In an attempt to revitalize Redwood City's downtown, city officials decided to look into development. In August 2006, a new 20-screen theatre and various shops opened in a prime downtown location. The theatre complex boasts restaurant and retail space at street level and a 2-level underground parking structure.[4]

In addition to the new 20-screen theatre, major improvements were made to the historical courthouse located on Broadway. In the late 30's an addition was built in front of the original structure, obscuring the view. It was torn down as part of the revitalization project. The building has been replaced with a large courtyard flanked by water fountains on either side, leading to the main steps of the courthouse. The courthouse's glass dome is lit at night and changes colors every 11 seconds.


The western arch


Redwood City's slogan, emblazoned on arches across Broadway at the east and west entrances to downtown, is "Climate Best By Government Test." This is based on a climatological survey conducted by the United States and German governments prior to World War I. The area centered on Redwood City tied for the world's best climate with the Canary Islands and North Africa's Mediterranean Coast.[6]

Independence Day parade

Redwood City's Independence Day parade sponsored by the Peninsula Celebration Association,[7] held continuously since 1939, has been billed variously as 'The largest Independence Day Parade in California,' 'West of the Mississippi,' 'in North America,' claims which may or may not be accurate. The first verifiable written records of celebrations date to 1861, and to 1887 for a parade.

Law enforcement

The Scott Peterson trial was held in Redwood City.

In 1976, Patty Hearst was held at the San Mateo County jail, as it was the most secure facility in the Bay Area at the time. Hearst, the heiress and granddaughter of the legendary newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by a radical group, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), and made national headlines when she joined the group in a series of crimes.[8]

Author Ken Kesey spent time in the San Mateo County jail in 1967 for possession of marijuana. During his incarceration he wrote Kesey’s Jail Journal.[9]


Through the late 1980s the San Francisco 49ers football team held workout practices at Red Morton Park, located near the Redwood City Veteran's Memorial Center.

Greg Camarillo, current Miami Dolphins wide receiver, was born in Redwood City.[10]


Harold and Maude was filmed at various Northern California locations. There is a scene of Maude liberating a "poor tree that can't breathe" which was filmed in front of the San Mateo County Government Center in downtown.

The courthouse scenes of "Mrs. Doubtfire" were filmed at the Redwood City courthouse.

Several DreamWorks animated films (i.e Over The Hedge, Madagascar, Shark Tale, Shrek 2, Shrek, etc.) were made by PDI/Dreamworks (the Northern California branch of Dreamworks Animation), which moved to Redwood City from nearby Palo Alto (Park Drive) in October 2002.

Video game publisher Electronic Arts is based in the Redwood Shores neighborhood of Redwood City.


All Nippon Airways operates an office in Suite 350 at 555 Twin Dolphin Drive in Redwood City.[11] Until 1999 Sega operated its United States headquarters in Redwood City; during that year the headquarters moved to San Francisco.[12]

Largest employers

  • Company - Number of Employees
  1. Oracle Corporation - 8,000
  2. San Mateo County - 2,200
  3. Electronic Arts - 1,826
  4. Kaiser Permanente - 1,800
  5. Sequoia Hospital - 1,154
  6. Redwood City School District - 1,050
  7. Informatica Corporation - 1,000
  8. Openwave Systems - 900
  9. BroadVision - 759
  10. Sequoia Union High School District - 700
  11. City of Redwood City - 607
  12. Tyco Electronics - 400
  13. PDI/Dreamworks - 400
  14. Cañada College - 380
  15. Ampex Corporation -300

Source: 2006 Community Guide and Membership Directory, Redwood City Chamber of Commerce

Sister cities


See also


External links

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