Greenbelt Aliance



Infill can accommodate Bay Area growth; this analysis shows it, and this analysis is actually quite conservative. It is likely that the region can actually accommodate more growth as infill, because Greenbelt Alliance's model is likely to be an underestimate of the region's capacity:

  • Greenbelt Alliance's infill model does not include any single-family homes or condominiums among the properties likely to redevelop even though it's possible. For example, some homeowners could add cottages or granny flats on their land. These were not included because these sites may be less likely to redevelop due solely to economic forces. But around the region, many will still redevelop.

Expert Corroboration



California's groundbreaking law, SB375, calls for regions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and the best way to do that is to plan for people to live near public transportation, services, and jobs.

The Bay Area is already a leader in addressing climate change and moving toward smarter land-use and transportation planning. Greenbelt Alliance's research demonstrates that we can meet the Grow Smart Bay Area challenge and grow sustainably.




A 2005 study  by the Institute for Urban and Regional Development at the University of California, Berkeley, for the California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency found that depending on the definition of infill used, the Bay Area has the potential to accommodate between 358,800 and 751,700 infill homes (the study did not consider jobs) by 2035. This study uses the same "underutilized parcels" approach that Greenbelt Alliance's model uses, but estimates future densities in a different way.

The Smart Growth Strategy / Regional Livability Footprint Project found that the Bay Area could accommodate 741,500 new households between 2000 and 2020. This research uses the same "place-types" that Greenbelt Alliance uses but takes a different approach to estimating the amount of land that will redevelop, and the number of new homes and jobs on each property. The Footprint Project assumes the addition of 37,000 households per year; Greenbelt Alliance's model assumes 24,000 households per year for a total of 720,000 new homes between 2005 and 2035. The Footprint Project also assumes 16,000 acres of greenfield development, but if this fringe development is at typical suburban densities, the Grow Smart Bay Area scenario is still much more moderate.