This article contains content that is written like an advertisement .(April 2018)
|Focus||Urban Planning, Smart Growth, Environmental Conservation, Open Space Preservation|
|San Francisco Bay Area|
|Jeremy Madsen, CEO|
|People for Open Space|
Greenbelt Alliance is a non-profit land conservation and urban planning organization that has worked in California's nine-county San Francisco Bay Area since 1958.
Greenbelt Alliance promotes the creation of walkable neighborhoods with a mix of shops, homes, and jobs near public transit. The organization encourages cities to adopt smart growth policies, to accommodate the Bay Area's increasing population while protecting open space and making the region's cities better places to live. It has been involved in the adoption of urban growth boundaries in more than 20 cities and 5 counties in the Bay Area. These boundaries draw a line to define where growth should and should not go, and are generally either adopted by voters through the initiative process, or by city councils or county boards of supervisors.
Greenbelt Alliance works to get Bay Area residents involved in their local urban planning processes and development decisions. To help people learn more about the region's open space and its cities, the organization leads hikes, farm tours, and urban walks throughout the Bay Area that are open to the public. It also endorses development proposals that meet smart growth guidelines and include affordable housing.
Greenbelt Alliance publishes reports on land-use policy, affordable housing, smart growth, sprawl development, open space protection, and farming.
Recent publications include:
Greenbelt Alliance is involved in statewide efforts in California to fight climate change through better land use. This is based on the idea that transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases, and transportation is dictated by land use. Put another way, if homes and jobs are built far apart, people will drive more, and that will have a negative impact on the Earth's climate. Greenbelt Alliance advocates for changing how cities are built—focusing new development in downtowns and around transit stations—to reduce driving and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenbelt Alliance was founded in 1958 as an organization called Citizens for Regional Recreation and Parks. One of its first campaigns was helping to halt the filling of San Francisco Bay for development. In 1969, the organization was renamed People for Open Space to reflect the organization's additional interest in preserving ranch lands, agricultural lands, and wildlife preserves. In the 1970s, People for Open Space helped to establish a public park district called the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (1972), as well as Suisun Marsh (1974). It was also involved in campaigning for a regional government for the Bay Area, but was defeated in Sacramento by one vote. In 1976, People for Open Space added the goal of establishing a permanent regional greenbelt to its agenda, and in 1984 created a group called Greenbelt Congress to work on open space protection through activism and grassroots organizing.
In 1987, Greenbelt Congress and People for Open Space merged to become Greenbelt Alliance, and established a dual focus of grassroots activism and policy research. Greenbelt Alliance expanded outside San Francisco with a field office in the South Bay in 1988. In 1995, East Bay and Sonoma-Marin field offices opened their doors, and in 2001, a Solano-Napa office opened in response to growth along the Interstate 80 corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Greenbelt Alliance was involved in stopping sprawl development proposals and protecting Pleasanton Ridge (1993), Bear Creek Redwoods (1999),and Cowell Ranch/John Marsh SHP (2002) as state parks or open space preserves. It helped to create the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority in 1994, and was part of defeating a freeway proposal called the Mid-State Toll Road in 1995.
Greenbelt Alliance has acted as the fiscal sponsor for several organizations, including the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (now an independent organization), the Bay Area Open Space Council, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, and the Bay Area Environmental Education Resource Fair.
Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl. It also advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices. The term "smart growth" is particularly used in North America. In Europe and particularly the UK, the terms "compact city", "urban densification" or "urban intensification" have often been used to describe similar concepts, which have influenced government planning policies in the UK, the Netherlands and several other European countries.
An urban growth boundary, or UGB, is a regional boundary, set in an attempt to control urban sprawl by, in its simplest form, mandating that the area inside the boundary be used for urban development and the area outside be preserved in its natural state or used for agriculture. Legislating for an "urban growth boundary" is one way, among many others, of managing the major challenges posed by unplanned urban growth and the encroachment of cities upon agricultural and rural land.
Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually influenced many aspects of real estate development, urban planning, and municipal land-use strategies. New urbanism attempts to address the ills associated with urban sprawl and post-Second World War suburban development.
A green belt is a policy and land-use zone designation used in land-use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighboring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges, which have a linear character and may run through an urban area instead of around it. In essence, a green belt is an invisible line designating a border around a certain area, preventing development of the area and allowing wildlife to return and be established.
The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a special district operating in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California, within the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. It maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. The administrative office is located in Oakland.
Land-use planning is the process of regulating the use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done in an effort to promote more desirable social and environmental outcomes as well as a more efficient use of resources. More specifically, the goals of modern land-use planning often include environmental conservation, restraint of urban sprawl, minimization of transport costs, prevention of land use conflicts, and a reduction in exposure to pollutants. In the pursuit of these goals, planners assume that regulating the use of land will change the patterns of human behavior, and that these changes are beneficial. The first assumption, that regulating land-use changes the patterns of human behavior is widely accepted. However, the second assumption - that these changes are beneficial - is contested, and depends on the location and regulations being discussed.
Urban sprawl is the unrestricted growth in many urban areas of housing, commercial development, and roads over large expanses of land, with little concern for urban planning. In addition to describing a special form of urbanization, the term also relates to the social and environmental consequences associated with this development. Since the advent of the industrial era, sprawl has entailed no direct disadvantages, such as the loss of protection from medieval city walls. However, its disadvantages and costs include increased travel time, transport costs, pollution, and destruction of countryside. The cost of building the infrastructure needed for new developments is hardly ever recouped through property taxes, amounting to a huge subsidy for the developers and new residents at the expense of existing property taxpayers. In Continental Europe, the term peri-urbanisation is often used to denote similar dynamics and phenomena, but the term urban sprawl is currently being used by the European Environment Agency. There is widespread disagreement about what constitutes sprawl and how to quantify it. For example, some commentators measure sprawl only with the average number of residential units per acre in a given area, but others associate it with decentralization, discontinuity, segregation of uses, and so forth.
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is a regional planning agency incorporating various local governments in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. It encompasses nine counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay. Those counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. It has the ability to establish housing and transportation goals for cities to minimize urban sprawl by that requiring housing be zoned for near new workplace construction. It deals with land use, housing, environmental quality, and economic development. Non-profit organizations as well as governmental organizations can be members. All nine counties and 101 cities within the Bay Area are voluntary members of ABAG.
The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a planned 550-mile (890 km) multi-use trail along the hill and mountain ridgelines ringing the San Francisco Bay Area, in Northern California. Currently 390 miles (630 km) have been established. When complete, the trail will connect over 75 parks and open spaces. The trail is being designed to provide access for hikers, runners, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians. It will be accessible through trailheads near major population centers, while the trail will extend into more remote areas. The first trail section was dedicated on May 13, 1989.
Smart Growth America (SGA) is a US non-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. SGA's mission is to ensure that urban development policies foster safe, equitable, and sustainable community growth.
In urban planning, infill, or in-fill, is the rededication of land in an urban environment, usually open-space, to new construction. Infill also applies, within an urban polity, to construction on any undeveloped land that is not on the urban margin. The slightly broader term "land recycling" is sometimes used instead. Infill has been promoted as an economical use of existing infrastructure and a remedy for urban sprawl. Its detractors view it as overloading urban services, including increased traffic congestion and pollution, and decreasing urban green-space. Many also detract it for social and historical reasons, partly due to its unproven effects and its similarity with gentrification.
Mixed-use development is a term used for two related concepts:
The Greenbelt is a permanently protected area of green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, located in Southern Ontario, Canada. It surrounds a significant portion of Canada's most populated and fastest-growing area, the Golden Horseshoe.
Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) is an United States environmental organization that focuses on the acquisition and preservation of parkland in the San Francisco Bay Area. CESP works to protect open space along the East Bay shoreline for natural habitat and recreational purposes through a combination of advocacy, education, and outreach. Since its founding in 1985, CESP has worked to secure approximately 1,800 acres (730 ha) of public land, primarily through the creation of the 8.5-mile (13.7 km) long Eastshore State Park in 2002.
Land recycling is the reuse of abandoned, vacant, or underused properties for redevelopment or repurposing.
SPUR is a non-profit think tank focused on regional planning and public policy in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is formally known as the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association.
The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 is a regional growth management policy for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) area of southern Ontario, Canada. Introduced under the Places to Grow Act in 2005, the Plan was approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and enacted on June 16, 2006. Administered by the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI), the plan identifies density and intensification targets, urban growth centres, strategic employment areas, and settlement area restrictions designed to mitigate negative environmental, economic and human health impacts associated with sprawling, uncoordinated growth in the region.
Plan Bay Area is the long-range Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. It is the Bay Area's implementation of the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, or SB 375, a California law that aims to integrate sustainable strategies to reduce transportation-related pollution and external greenhouse gas emissions. The plan addresses the plan identifies goals and develops strategies for transportation, land-use, and housing to accommodate the region's expected growth and needs over a long-term planning horizon. It is jointly prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The current plan, which includes projections and strategies through the year 2040, is called Play Bay Area 2040. Plan Bay Area 2050 is currently under development.
Open spaces in urban environments, such as parks, playgrounds, and natural areas, can provide many health, cultural, recreational, and economic benefits to the communities nearby. However, access to open spaces can be unequal for people of different incomes. In California's two largest metropolitan regions, Los Angeles County in Southern California and the Bay Area in Northern California, access to green space and natural areas varies with the predominate races and classes of the communities. This also holds true in San Diego County in Southern California. Both expanding urbanization and diminishing funding for open space tend to widen these gaps in accessibility. Because open space is associated with various mental and physical benefits, a lack of access to it can pose health consequences. However, more research is needed to determine whether such environmental inequalities translate into long-term health inequalities, and, if so, how.