Co-housing Provides Opportunity for More Sustainable Communities

In some California communities, the recent trend to build mixed use developments has morphed into “co-housing,” the practice in which homes are built to share resources and space. One such development will soon break ground in Mountain View, the home of Google. The residences will offer privacy yet ample shared facilities. And unlike urban “lofts” and

California High Speed Rail Agency Requests Billions To Start Construction

California’s bullet train agency today formally requested a multibillion-dollar appropriation to start construction next year, after dozens of people from across the state attacked the $98-billion project’s cost, rationale and effects on communities. The California High Speed Rail Authority board adopted a funding plan, which seeks to tap $3.3 billion in federal grants and $2.7 billion

LED Streetlights in Palo Alto

The City of Palo Alto’s Climate Protection Plan provided the impetus for the City to launch its light emitting diode (LED) streetlight demonstration program. Given that LED streetlights can be 40-50% more efficient than high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights currently in use, they hold the potential to reduce operating costs and achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions.

Governor Signs Legislation Designed to Speed CEQA Process

In the last two weeks, Governor Brown has signed into law three pieces of legislation designed to streamline the CEQA process.  Each is discussed below. 1.         AB 900 Assemby Bill 900 (Buchanan (D-San Ramon) and Steinberg (D-Sacramento)) adds new Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 21178) to Division 13 of the Public Resources Code, which expedites

BCDC Approves Bay Plan Amendment No. 1-08

Today BCDC approved staff’s final recommendation on Bay Plan Amendment No. 1-08, which revises various sections of the Bay Plan to address climate change and adds a new Climate Change section to the San Francisco Bay Plan. More information is available at the BCDC website:

Stockton Takes on Urban Infill

The City of Stockton has begun identifying candidates for in-fill development as part of a regional plan being created showing how transit-oriented development can reduce greenhouse gases by diminishing vehicle travel. The resulting plan could identify areas where millions of local dollars could go to support so-called smart growth, fulfill a state mandate to combat climate change

Peter Calthorpe Takes on Climate Change with His Vision of Urbanism

Peter Calthorpe is one of the most respected urban planners in the world, which has led municipalities from California to China to ask for his assistance in creating livable, sustainable cities. His new book, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change, accepts that climate change is a real threat, with potentially catastrophic consequences that can

Rescuing the Rural Edge — It Takes a Village

Where suburbia merges into countryside typically looks peaceful enough, with lawns giving way to forests and fields. But in most places, this is a zone of conflict and dysfunction.  The steady loss of farmland and natural habitat to sprawl-pattern development endangers food supplies and other resources, as well as the health, wealth and survival prospects