Author: Northern Section

Northern News – December 2016

Northern News – December 2016

  • Planning our communities for an aging population. Ramona Mullahey. Realistic and workable services and policies to better serve an aging America. Page 1
  • Director’s note. Andrea Ouse, AICP. Adapting Northern Section to changing times. Page 3
  • Meet a local planner. Siân Llewellyn, AICP interviews Sharon Grewal, AICP, Northern Section’s Director elect. Page 7
  • Northern Section partners with Sustainable Silicon Valley. Alex Lantsberg, AICP. Page 10
  • Who’s where. Dave Davis, Jason Rogers, AICP; Dave Javid, AICP; Graham Pugh, Eric Tuvel, AICP. Page 14

To read or download the PDF click here.

EVENT: Habitat III And Bay Area Sustainability Planning

Dates/Times:  THUR Nov. 17th and TUES Nov. 22nd (come one or both days).

Time:   2-3:30 pm (student presentations), 3:45-4:30pm (tentative Debrief/Q&A w Prof. Acey; must RSVP here/below)

Please RSVP (1) for attending the student presentations (courtesy option) and (2) for the Debrief (required) in the google form below (or click).

Location:  ROOM 106, Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley (map).

CM:  self-report option

Co-hosted by: APA Sustainability Committee & University of California Berkeley Department of City & Regional Planning.

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Northern News – November 2016

Northern News – November 2016

  • Artist gives citizens simple tools to design public spaces. Jen Kinney. Next City article features planning-related art by Cupertino artist/arts educator. Page 1
  • Director’s note. Andrea Ouse, AICP. Board elections coming up. Mentorship program heating up. APA California Conference starts this weekend. Page 3
  • Meet a local planner. Siân Llewellyn, AICP, interviews Jesse Schofield, AICP, associate transportation planner, Caltrans District 4. Page 6
  • Planning documents don’t need to be long and boring. Alex Hinds. Sonoma County’s new Regional Climate Action Plan in 24 illustrated pages. Page 12

To read or download the PDF click here.

Webinar (111716): Creating Living Communities

APA Sustainable Communities Division Webinar Series

Co-hosted by APA California and the Northern Section Sustainability Committee

CM | 1.0 (live viewing only)

Thurs. Nov. 17, 2016, Noon to 1pm (PST)

In this webinar, we will explore The Living Community Challenge (LCC), a new design framework developed by the International Living Future Institute (the Institute), which seeks to lead the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. The LCC is a certification program, as well as a planning and design philosophy that starts by raising the question, “What does good look like?”

The LCC is applicable to new or existing communities, whether new master plans or existing neighborhoods. We will also explore the LCC companion tool—Living Community Patterns (PDF) that arose in part from the research partnership with the San Francisco Planning Department (Living Community Patterns – Exploratory Strategies for a Sustainable San Francisco). An audience Q&A will conclude the webinar.


Alicia Daniels Uhlig, Living Community Challenge + Policy Director

Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA, Strategic Sustainability Planner-Economist, San Francisco Planning Department, and APA SCD Sustainability Champion – California.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the Living Community Challenge sustainability principles
  2. Describe each design performance area
  3. Explore the power of the “Patterns” approach to planning and designing Living Communities
  4. Discuss how the Living Community Challenge and Patterns may be used in practice

Credit: 1 CM  | 1 GBCI

Audience: Whether you are a Planner, Project Manager, Sustainability Consultant, part of a Neighborhood Association/Development Authority, or work for a Chamber of Commerce or municipality you will gain an understanding of how to adapt this enhanced understanding of sustainable community planning to your own practice and neighborhood-scale projects.

Event: UCB/APA Habitat III — Implications for Local Planning

Held September 27–Habitat 3 and the New Urban Agenda: Global Negotiations, Local Implications, UC Berkeley, 112 Wurster Hall, Berkeley, 6:00-7:30 pm.

The UCB IURD and APA California Norther Sustainability Committee co-hosted a panel discussion on the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3) held from October 17-20 in Quito, Ecuador. /1/  The Conference adopted the New Urban Agenda, a global urban development policy framework, which has been 2 years (or 40 years!) in the making.  The goal of the New Urban Agenda is to foster transformations across the urban world. The panel discussed the NUA and its new Sustainable Development Goals. It explored the implications for local planning practice and global sustainability.

Panelists included:

  • Charisma Acey, PhD, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Jason Corburn, PhD, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Anibal Gaviria, IURD Visiting Scholar 2016-17 and former Mayor of Medellin, Columbia,
  • Holly Pearson, AICP, Director of the APA California, Northern CA Sustainability Committee

The moderator was Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA, SF Planning & APA Sustainability Champion.

For more information view the video recording and contact Holly Pearson at, Sustainability Committee co-director, who also wrote an article summarizing the lead up and work of Habitat III in the October 2016 issue of the Northern News (pp 1, 18-19; and here, or 3 page PDF here).

Video Table of Contents:

  1. Scott Edmondson, AICP, Introduction (00:00)
  2. Holly Pearson, Background & Context (05:05)
  3. Prof. Jason Corburn, DRCP-UCB, PhD, Healthy & Equitable Planning? (19:35)
  4. Anibal Gaviria, IURD Visiting Scholar and former Mayor of Medellin, Columbia, Planning Cities for Life (32:40)
  5. Prof. Charisma Acey, DCRP-UCB, PhD, 3 Keys to Local Implementation (44:00)
  6. Moderated Discussion (1:00:40)
    1. Comment: One illustration of the magnitude of the “planning” challenge is providing 1 new city /week of 1M pop to meet the needs of population growth from 2000-2050 (+3B).
    2. As hopeful as Habitat 3 is, with the new world focus on urban policy of the NUA and SDGs focused on transforming the urban world, how do you feel Habitat 3 will change the sustainability game of past 25 years that have unfolded since Rio 1992?
      1. Holly (1:04:30)
      2. Charisma (1:07:40)
      3. Jason (1:10:15
  7. Audience Q&A (1:11:55)
    1. What are Habitat 3’s Implementation Tensions? What are the tensions in Habitat 3 between the NUA and implementation? (1:11:55)
    2. What is the Effect of Population Growth? What do we do about population growth?  (1:16:25)
    3. Will Habitat 3’s Top-Down Engagement Trickle Down? As you’ve described, Habitat 3 involves multi-sectoral collaboration and participation, yet most Latin American cities are embedded in top down, authoritative structures and Habitat 3 appears top down as well; how do you see the benefits of Habitat 3 trickling down in Latin American countries to populations that don’t and can’t participate? (1:22:15)
    4. Can Habitat 3 Principles Secure the “Right to the City” in the Face of Unprecedented Globalization Forces? The slide that showed 6B people will be living in cities by 2050, equivalent to the current world population, implies a future need to renegotiate traditional concepts of borders as many cities grow in population to become the equivalent of city states.  In this context, how can Habitat 3 principles and processes be used to secure the right to city as cities face unprecedented population growth and the globalization of capital, fiscalization of land use, and soaring property prices?   (1:27:52)

Some past posts on the New Urban Agenda and the world’s new Sustainable Development Goals follow here:


/1/ University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, Department of City & Regional Planning, Institute for Urban and Regional Development, and the American Planning Association California Chapter, Northern Section, Sustainability Committee.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]



October 2016

  • Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda: Global negotiations, local implications. Holly R. Pearson, AICP. Background and context, preparations for Habitat III and the drafting of the New Urban Agenda, content of the Draft New Urban Agenda, and implications for the San Francisco Bay Area. Page 1
  • Seattle: Expanding affordable senior housing and building community. HUD USER. Page 7
  • Meet a local planner. Siân Llewellyn, AICP, interviews Kristen Hall, AICP, senior urban designer and associate with Perkins+Will, San Francisco. Page 9
  • Working with wicked problems. Excerpts from an essay by David Booher and Judith E. Innes. Page 16

To read or download the PDF click here.

From Biophilic Buildings to Cities Workshop – SF, Arup, CMU-BCA, BCN

Biophilic City Banner Image

Biophilia – The DNA for Resilient, Sustainable, and Human 21st Century Cities  


Should Cities be “Green” with Nature?

“We need nature in our lives more than ever today, and as more of us are living in cities it must be urban nature. Biophilic Cities are cities that contain abundant nature; they are cities that care about, seek to protect, restore and grow this nature, and that strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world. Nature is not something optional, but absolutely essential to living a happy, healthy and meaningful life.”(The Biophilic Cities Network (BCN):


On Friday May 13, 2016, San Francisco Planning co-sponsored a half-day workshop with Arup on Biophilic SF for the week-long Executive Education Program of the,

  • The Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and
  • Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Academy
  • Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Executive Development Program
  • on Big Data & Biophilic Design (May 9-13, 2016)

The San Francisco / ARUP Session expanded the biophilic focus of the CMU/BCA Program from the building (biophilic design) to the city (planning), exploring both the planning challenge and SF’s current initiatives.  On a walking tour to our afternoon discussion, the group visited three buildings with biophilic features, had lunch together in one plaza, and gathered in Arup’s conference room for presentations and discussion.

CMU/BCA Building Executive Program Description (from the brochure): The program offers a global overview of the sustainability movement, advocating a holistic approach to address resource management, promoting increasing use of renewable energy sources while minimizing energy consumption and maximizing health and comfort through innovative design and application of advanced building technologies. Focuses for this year’s program are on biophilic design and big data analytics.

Biophilia describes the natural affiliation of human beings toward nature and living organisms and its emphasis on the innate connection between humans and other living systems such as plants, animals and the weather. Biophilic design refers to the process of creating good habitat for people as a biological organism in the built environment.

Big Data Analytics in the context of the built environment can be defined as sensing, collection, processing and conveyance of building performance information that is understandable and actionable for data-drive decision making for processes of design, construction and operation of buildings and groups of buildings from campus to urban scales.

Click here for the workshop brochure, with a list of tour stops, participants, and literature list.

Click here for the Program Brochure (CMU/BCA Executive Ed).

Click here for a more detailed description of the tour and presentations, and more links.

Click here for references to key references in biophilic design and planning.

Email or for more information.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

Sustainable City Template–Hammarby

Sustainable new build: Hammarby Sjöstad is Stockholm’s largest urban construction project. The “Hammarby model” has become a tool for environmentally friendly city development around the world. When completed in 2017, 26,000 people will be living here in 11,500 apartments. The district has been planned using an eco-cycle approach and is intended to showcase ecological and environmentally sensitive construction and living. From:  Cities Alive – Rethinking Green Infrastructure, Foresight, Arup, 2015.

See also:

and Wiki:östad

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

September 2016

  • Preserving Napa’s historic character. Catarina Kidd, Associate Editor, interviews Lilly Bianco, a historic preservation specialist and associate planner for M-Group. Page 1
  • Where in the world. Photo by Fay Darmawi. Page 3
  • Meet a local planner. Siân Llewellyn, AICP, interviews Kenya Wheeler, AICP, senior environmental planner for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. P. 6
  • Establishing a clearly defined path to AICP. AICP Commission. Page 13

To read or download the PDF click here.