City of Berkeley

Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California, that is named after the eighteenth-century bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. The cities of Oakland and Emeryville to the south and by the city of Albany and unincorporated community of Kensington to the north bordering it, while its eastern limit is the border with Contra Costa County that generally follows the ridge of the Berkeley Hills. Its population at the 2010 census was determined to be 112,580 and it is one of the most politically liberal cities in the United States.

Berkeley is the site of the oldest campus in the University of California system, University of California, Berkeley – the – and of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that the university manages and operates. It is also home to the Graduate Theological Union.

In California alone, there are more than 30 cities bigger than Berkeley. In Alameda County alone, Berkeley is ranked fourth in population behind Oakland, Fremont, and Hayward. And yet, the city is famous around the globe as a center for academic achievement, scientific exploration, free speech and the arts.

Berkeley is a constantly changing mix of long-time residents and new neighbors.

Berkeley has a cool summer Mediterranean Climate, with dry summers and wet winters. The summers are cooler than a typical Mediterranean climate thanks to upwelling ocean currents along the California coast. These help produce cool and foggy nights and mornings. Berkeley’s location directly opposite the Golden Gate ensures that typical eastward fog flow blankets the city more often than its neighbors.

Major streets

  • Shattuck Avenue passes through several neighborhoods, including the downtown business district in Berkeley
  • University Avenue runs from Berkeley’s bayshore and marina to the University of California campus.
  • Ashby Avenue (Highway 13), which also runs from Berkeley’s bayshore to the hills, connects with the Warren Freeway and Highway 24 leading to the Caldecott Tunnel, named for a former Berkeley mayor.
  • San Pablo Ave (Highway 123) runs north–south through West Berkeley, connecting Oakland and Emeryville to the south and Albany to the north.
  • Telegraph Avenue, which runs north-south from the University Campus to Oakland, historically the site of much of the hippie culture of Berkeley.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Way, which until 1984 was called Grove St, runs north-south a few blocks west of Shattuck Avenue, connecting Oakland and the freeways to the south with the neighborhoods and other communities to the north.
  • Solano Avenue, a major street for shopping and restaurants, runs east-west near the north end of Berkeley, continuing into Albany.