Event–APA General Plan Sustainability Assessment of Bay Area Cities

SUMMARY. Explore APA’s proposed new approach to assessing general plan sustainability in one of three 2-hour sessions from 11am-1pm on May 1, 6, and 8, room 106 Wurster Hall, UCB, Berkeley, 2 AICP CM credits pending. Each session will include a 1.5-hour undergraduate final presentation of city assessments from 11am-12:30pm (see city schedule below) followed by a discussion with Professor Acey for attending planners from 12:30-1pm. Also, review the APA program (APA Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places) and documents (links below). Please RSVP (optional; attend anyway!) or send questions to Scott Edmondson, AICP, scott-e@sustainability2030.com.   We look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

Are you interested in exploring how to integrate sustainability into a city’s general plan, and more specifically, learning about the APA Sustaining Places Initiative’s new criteria (see APA Standards) for preparing and assessing general plan sustainability (see Resources below)?

Then review the APA’s beta criteria and documents (links below) on APA’s Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places, and attend one of three 2-hour University of California (UCB) undergraduate class presentation in the Department of City and Regional Planning (2 AICP CM credits pending).

Time/Dates/Cities.  The undergraduate class presentations will be held from 11am-12:30pm on May 1st, 6th, and 8th (20 minutes per presentation), with a half-hour discussion for attending planners led by Prof. Acey from 12:30-1pm.

  • Thursday, May 1:   Mountain View 11:00 – 11:20  |  San Jose 11:20 – 11:40  |  Oakland 11:40 – 12:00  |  Fremont 12:00 – 12:20.
  • Tuesday, May 6:    San Rafael 11:00 – 11:20  |  Berkeley 11:20 – 11:40  |  San Francisco 11:40 – 12:00  |  Petaluma 12:00 – 12:20.
  • Thursday, May 8:   Richmond 11:00 – 11:20  |   Dublin 11:20 – 11:40  |  Emeryville 11:40 – 12:00.

Location.  Room 106, Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley (map) Your professional participation in planning education would be welcomed.

Please RSVP (optional, attend anyway!) or send questions to Scott Edmondson, scott-e@sustainability2030.com  (copy “Info/RSVP for APA GP Assessment Presentations” into the subject line).  Professor Acey, the students, and I look forward to exploring this emerging topic with you at one of the presentations.

Summer 2014 Workshop & Wider Discussion. Because general plans are one of our most powerful tools as planners for advancing municipal sustainability, Professor Acey and I may develop a half-day workshop on the topic later in the summer once the final lessons from the class project are formulated. The purpose of this workshop would be to generate a wider discussion among Bay Area planners about their experience adding sustainability to their general plans, and then distilling best practices along with the implications for on-going innovation and next-generation best practices. This latter point would be the basis for forging a collaboration agenda between university teaching and research in partnership with Bay Area planners.

Background.  The APA Northern Section Sustainability Committee’s Scott Edmondson, AICP and UCB Department of City & Regional Planning’s Assistant Professor Charisma Acey (see bio) designed this short event to capture and extend the value of Professor Acey’s undergraduate class project (CY PLAN 119 Class: Planning for Sustainability) to the professional planning community. The class project will involve two products:  (1) the rating and evaluation of the sustainability of each city’s general plan; (2) an evaluation of the rating tool and process. For the second product, students will calculate a statistic to measure the degree to which raters apply the criteria consistently and then formulate the implications for the APA’s proposed criteria and method.

RESOURCES:  To prepare for  the presentations or to explore the topic in more detail, you can review any of the following resources on the class assignment and  on the APA Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places.

  1. Class Assignment.
  2. APA Program Description (page down to the “Draft Standards” column title).
  3. APA Program Background.
  4. APA Standards Report.
  5. APA Evaluative Matrix.
  6. APA Pilot Communities.
  7. Earlier APA work:  PAS Report No. 567, Sustaining PlacesThe Role of the Comprehensive Plan, by David R. Godschalk FAICP, William R. Anderson FAICP, 2012, a collection of best cities’ best practices. See review in the APA Northern News, Plan-it sustainably column (here, Nov 2011).

Also:  APA National Workshop at the 2014 Conference in Atlanta (1-day): Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places (W404), Saturday, April 26, 2014, led by David Godschalk, FAICP, on the Comprehensive Plan Standards project (for info or to register click here). At the workshop, the APA plans to unveil the finalized plan standards. They anticipate that previous pilot communities testing  will produce a valuable workable program. If the pilot testing is successful, the APA will announce the launch date for the program at the workshop. However, if significant questions remain, APA will reevaluate whether or not to continue program development.

(Post by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, Sustainability Committee member)