Greenbelt Aliance

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

bay
We can meet the Grow Smart challenge, and we all have a role to play.

GROWING SMARTER

To create a better Bay Area, we need to:

Plan for walkable neighborhoods. Cities should establish minimum densities and raise maximum densities and building heights. Cities can also reduce building costs by reducing parking requirements and pricing parking to reflect its true cost. Streets should be designed for pedestrians and bicyclists rather than cars, and every resident should be able to walk to a clean, safe park.

Get everyone involved. Residents need to speak up for development in central areas that is good for the climate and for people. Cities, in turn, should bring residents into the planning process early on and ensure that they will benefit from changes to the neighborhood.

Bring good plans to fruition. Local governments should actively encourage investment in central areas by staffing planning departments and making the development process more straightforward.

Stop sprawl. Cities and counties need to direct development away from the Bay Area’s natural areas and farmlands. Steps to do this include adopting urban growth boundaries, zoning to preserve rural land, and requiring voter approval of any development outside boundaries.

Invest in infrastructure—both gray and green. The region, state, and federal government should focus funding in key areas, upgrading transit, water, sewer, and park systems to support smart growth and conserve vital lands.