Madeline Walker and Debbie Byrnes


Hayward California Information

In the early decades of the 20th Century, the Hayward Area became known as the “Heart of the Garden of Eden” because of its temperate climate and fertile soil. Everything – produce, chickens, cattle, flowers – grew in abundance. By 1950, Hayward, grown to a population of 14,000, had become the “Apricot City” and home to Hunt’s Cannery.

After World War II, more and more newcomers flocked to Hayward as they searched for and found affordable housing, quick access to job markets and a lifestyle conducive to raising young families. The Hayward Post-war Planning Committee, formed in 1944, laid much of the groundwork for a self-sustaining and balanced community. The Committee formulated a comprehensive 12-Point Plan that led to road improvements, industrial development, bus lines, hospitals, an airport, libraries, a water system, parks and institutions of higher education.

Today, the City of Hayward is known as the “Heart of the Bay,” not only for its central location but also for its accepting and caring environment.


Hayward continues to plan for the future, maintaining a balance between the needs of our diverse residents and a growing business community. Hayward’s Growth Management Strategy, designed with input from citizens, balances the needs of our growing population with the preservation of open space, and the need for economic development.

We are creating a pedestrian-friendly downtown with a balanced mix of housing, retail shops, offices and restaurants. The new Civic Center serves as the focal point for this revitalization. Encouraging new businesses to move to Hayward, expanding our sales tax base and strengthening our diverse economy are priorities.