I wrote in my g+ that Palo Alto is a social nightmare. It is a gated town, without actual gates. The boundary road delineates a factor of 10 in property values, and a factor of 10 in quality of life. Just crossing a few metres to get gas scares the hell out you in the daytime.
Inside this 'Reservation for the Rich', it's a paradise where rent per person (multi-shared) is $1000 a month. All the locals vote down any proposal to increase the density, so it is probably the highest priced accommodation per square foot of actual land in the world.
Yet, it continues to generate the income to support this un-reality. That's because there is a wild-west gold-rush fusion of money and brains. You go to a party and you feel it. Big money and big brains in the same breath.
So, how can the rest of world emulate this, without the road-crossing death scenes?
In Canada, we have bright technical people, but stupid money. Palo Alto is full of Toronto engineers. My son is starting a start-up. Getting money thrown at him is the easiest part. In Toronto, if you want to get a government grant you have to hook up with the local bagman-maffie person, and the thing needs a photo-op for ministers. There is no hope.
I see some hope for devices, with Kickstarter, but this comes nowhere close to the PA brains-money fusion.