Northern News

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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

Some of the free SPUR events through June

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

Planning More Illuminated Cities

Wednesday, May 31. Special Program 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Is your night experience in cities poetic or fearful? Though architects and planners design the world around us primarily for the daytime hours, half of our lives are spent in the dark. Some individuals, such as culture lovers and clubbers, choose to go out at night, while others, like shift workers, must do so as part of their jobs. And let’s not forget the wintertime, when most of us experience cities after the sun sets early. However, regardless of the reasons that we traverse cities at night, well-designed illumination is vital to accessing our cities during these darkened hours. It connects us to fresh air and social interactions, while boosting local economies and augmenting safety and a sense of welcome. Join noted lighting urbanist Leni Schwendinger as she leads a panel of international lighting and urban design leaders to explore the perceptions, realities and creative possibilities of the city at night.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

Budgeting for Climate Resilience in California

Thursday, June 2. Lunchtime Forum 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The California State Senate has proposed spending $18 billion on climate change resilience this year, outstripping the Governor’s office in the scope and scale of their ambitions. Bay Area Senator Robert Wieckowski, representing the 10th Senate District of southern Alameda and northern Santa Clara counties, has championed these efforts from his position as the chair of the budget subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, and Energy. Come hear Senator Wieckowski as he discusses the Senate’s bold climate vision and how he and his colleagues are working to turn it into reality.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

Comprehending the Contested Complexity of CEQA

Tuesday, June 7. Evening Forum 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

CEQA, adopted in 1970, is the state’s key environmental protection statute. It requires state and local agencies to analyze proposed construction projects, publicly report potential environmental impacts and undertake all feasible measures to avoid or mitigate those impacts. Though the law established California as a world leader in environmental protection, many have argued that its abuse is an impediment to environmentally-friendly projects and directly responsible for the state’s housing crisis, as CEQA-related processes serve to delay, downsize, or even block new development, transportation, and infrastructure projects. The reality is as complex as the law itself. While some groups view CEQA as an outdated and counterproductive law in dire need of drastic reform, others see it as a critical shield for protecting the vulnerable, from California’s wildlands to its underrepresented communities. Take part in a discussion CEQA’s goals, successes, and failures, and what it might take to reform the embattled law while maintaining or even strengthening environmental protection.

SAN FRANCISCO

Housing the Bay 2022

Thursday, June 9. Partnering Event with ULI, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Over the last five years, Housing the Bay has examined the drivers of our housing crisis, highlighted public and private sector solutions, and elevated the voices of a broad range of people from across our industry and North America. This year, ULI will continue to bring you the most compelling ideas and innovations for generating more housing and increasing affordability, with a clear-eyed focus on how we can go big. Join ULI and partners on June 9, 2022, for a full day of inspiring speakers, invigorating discussions, game-changing ideas, and tangible actions we can get to work on right away. Bring your mind, your energy, and your commitment to building the Bay Area we need and deserve to what is certain to be the Bay Area housing event of the year. Presented by ULI San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

A Home Run For Homes

Thursday, June 9. Lunchtime Forum 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

In 2016, the City of San Diego implemented the Affordable Homes Bonus Program (AHBP), which allows developers to build additional housing if they also dedicate a portion of the new development to be affordable. The program, which builds on top of California’s existing Density Bonus Law, has enabled a substantial increase in the production of market-rate and deed-restricted affordable homes in San Diego. The newly released report, Home Run for Homes: Celebrating Success of San Diego’s Affordable Homes Bonus Program, dives into how the AHBP is able to succeed in the face of skyrocketing housing costs. Come hear from the program’s architects, in conversation with experts from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, about how the AHBP could be more widely implemented to tackle California’s ongoing housing crisis.

SAN FRANCISCO

Bringing the Trains to the Transit Center

Monday, June 13. Tour 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Opened in 2018, and stretching across four blocks in downtown San Francisco, Salesforce Transit Center is the Bay Area’s largest regional transportation hub. Though the facility serves seven different transit operators whose networks extend as far as Hercules, Palo Alto, and Santa Rosa, buses are the only public transit mode currently available. That will all change, however, when the transit center’s train platforms open later this decade as part of the Downtown Rail Extension: an ambitious, six-track infrastructural expansion that will facilitate access to Caltrain and, eventually, California High-Speed Rail. Join SPUR and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority for a behind-the-scenes tour of Salesforce Transit Center. We’ll take a look at the center’s current operations before descending underground to explore the train box, a key component that, when finished, will make the facility the true Grand Central Station of the West. In partnership with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

Education Workforce Housing in California: Developing the 21st Century Campus

Tuesday, June 14. Lunchtime Forum 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

As home prices soar throughout the state, one of the most prominent groups impacted are educators. Teachers and staff working in public school systems across California are struggling to find affordable housing in and around the communities in which they work. That scarcity forces long commutes or, in some cases, the decision to cohabitate with colleagues in order to stay within close proximity to the school where they’re employed. And as housing affordability challenges create acute staffing challenges, more school districts are considering building workforce housing on land they own. Join us for a comprehensive overview of the potential for school district land across the state to be designed and developed for affordable housing for the education workforce, and hear from a developer about what it takes to get this done. Co-presented by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

Innovative Solutions in the Face of California’s Growing Housing Crisis

Thursday, June 16. Lunchtime Forum 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The cost of housing across the San Francisco Bay Area has grown exponentially over the last decade, leading to many homes becoming unaffordable for many families. As policymakers and experts look at different ways to address this ever-growing dilemma, companies like Nabr and Abodu are developing © solutions to providing affordable homeownership opportunities for Bay Area residents looking to purchase a home. Join us for a conversation with both companies to learn about the plans and products that each is implementing in an attempt to relieve the Bay Area’s worsening housing crisis.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

Fixer Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems

Tuesday, June 21. Lunchtime Forum 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Housing prices in communities across the country are on the rise, reducing the number of affordable homes available for middle- and low-income families. Legislators and policy experts throughout the United States have been tirelessly working to alleviate the widening housing crisis through the implementation of new zoning policies, the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and by investing in the development of our cities’ urban cores. However, as described in her new book, Fixer Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems, Brookings’ Senior Fellow Jenny Schuetz argues that most discussions about how to address the housing crisis miss a key notion: that the nation’s housing systems have been constructed to be fundamentally unequal in nature. Join us to explore the arguments posed in her book and learn what it will take to create more affordable, and more widely available, housing stock across the country.

SAN FRANCISCO + SAN JOSÉ + OAKLAND

A New Social Contract for Housing in California

Wednesday, June 29. Lunchtime Forum 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

California’s housing crisis is now decades old, but its not for lack of good ideas, good planners, or serious resources. How do we build the type of grand bargains and big coalitions needed to make change? How do we even build the political will to change our housing system? A recent book by author Alex Schafran, Where We Go From Here, explores how new approaches to the real estate economy, to homeownership and resident control, and to questions of race and geography can help us design a better housing policy in the Golden State. Join us for a provocative exploration of what a new social contract for housing in California could look like.

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