Author: Naphtali Knox

Northern News October 2021

Northern News October 2021

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Northern Section news and announcements

Planning news roundup

Assembled by Richard Davis, AICP Candidate, associate editor

Note: Some articles to which we link may be behind paywalls. If you find yourself blocked, add outline.com/ before the link (before the https), and you may be able to read the article without being asked to subscribe.

Drought: Marin, Saudi crown prince eyeing same desalination plants

By Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, September 20, 2021. Desalination is still the district’s secondary option to prevent it from running out of water as soon as July.

SF piloting tiny cabins for homeless people as a cost-effective alternative to tents

By Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, September 20, 2021. 70 tiny homes (cabins), similar to those used in Oakland and other cities, will replace 44 tents in a city-sanctioned ‘safe sleeping village.’

Gov. Newsom abolishes most single-family zoning in California

By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times, September 17, 2021. SB 9, now law, allows up to four units on single-family lots.

San Mateo loses housing ruling with big statewide implications

By Curtis Driscoll, San Mateo Daily Journal, September 14, 2021. Upholding the Housing Accountability Act could lead to new housing elements with clearer objective standards that expedite housing.

How can the pedestrian malls of the past inform today’s shared streets?

By Stephan Schmidt, Bloomberg CityLab, September 9, 2021. A Cornell study analyzed over 100 past pedestrian malls to see what characteristics could help shared streets thrive.

Over 3,000 acres of East Bay open space to be preserved as state park in $31 million deal

By Joseph Gena, East Bay Times, September 8, 2021. Scientists have described the land as a ‘biologically unique habitat’ and a place long considered a ‘sensitive historical site’ by local Native American groups.

Cupertino again at odds with the state over the SB 35 Vallco project

By Marisa Kendall, Mercury News, September 7, 2021. Department of Housing and Community Development says the project’s special approval under SB 35 should be granted an extension since it was impeded by litigation.

Berkeley seeks objective standards for thorniest aspects of new developments

By Nico Savidge, Berkeleyside, September 5, 2021. Objective standards are becoming an increasingly important way for cities to exercise local control over development.

Chinese ghost cities are finally stirring to life

By James Mayger, Lucille Liu, Yujing Liu, Lin Zhu, and Yinan Zhao, Bloomberg News, September 1, 2021. The government wants the trend of urban migration to continue and for new population centers provide an alternative to Beijing and Shanghai, which restrict new residents.

San Jose approves strategy to spread out multi-unit affordable housing citywide

By Lloyd Alaban, San Jose Spotlight, August 31, 2021. The plan divides San Jose into three categories to prioritize where to build affordable housing based on poverty and crime rates.

City of Napa housing division revamps rental housing rehabilitation loan program

By Edward Booth, Napa Valley Register, August 30, 2021. The maximum loan for home repairs has increased by tens of thousands of dollars in most cases.

Bay Area cities and counties falling dramatically short of affordable housing goals

By Kiley Russell, Bay City News Foundation, August 27, 2021. New local financing strategies and the state’s first regional affordable housing financing authority look to bridge funding gaps in the next five years of the current planning cycle.

How arenas like the Oakland Coliseum became emblematic of California’s housing crisis

By Erika Paz, Calmatters, August 24, 2021. California’s Department of Housing and Community Development cited Oakland and two other cities over using public land for arenas without integrating affordable housing.

Judge rules that UC Berkeley must study the impacts of growth before raising enrollment

By Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside, August 24, 2021. Cal must redo the SEIR to address certain issues, including how student enrollment increases have affected noise, housing, and displacement in Berkeley.

Oakland residents fighting a mysterious startup taking over their quiet street

By Georgia Freedman, SFGate, August 23, 2021. Neighbors argue that CloudKitchens, a kitchen-to-delivery startup, gamed the city’s zoning and permitting process to operate in a low-income area.

Tension over new development rises amid water scarcity in Healdsburg

By Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat, August 23, 2021. Opponents claim the city’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan considered an “erroneously rosy supply outlook”.

Where in the world? Four photos

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Northern News is written for you, by you and your colleagues. We’ll be happy to receive, read, and publish your article. You can see our publication schedule and deadlines here.

Letters and suggestions are always welcome. We’d like to hear what you think is good about Northern News or what needs improvement or is missing.

Northern News September 2021

Northern News September 2021

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Northern Section news, views, and announcements

Planning news roundup

Assembled by Richard Davis, AICP Candidate, associate editor

Note: Some articles to which we link may be behind paywalls. If you find yourself blocked, add outline.com/ before the link (before the https), and you may be able to read the article without being asked to subscribe.

Major changes to minimum parking standards could be ahead in San Jose

By Bryanna Paz, KALW, August 11, 2021. City officials argue this will reduce the number of single-occupant vehicle commuter trips.

Humboldt County, ‘where climate and Covid migration converge’

By Sarah Holder, Bloomberg CityLab, August 9, 2021. With climate change, Covid, and a housing crunch, Humboldt County has become a refuge for people in high fire risk areas.

California Supreme Court denies review in Berkeley Shellmound case

By Wendel Rosen LLP, August 2, 2021. Justices uphold Court of Appeal’s view that projects qualifying under SB 35 are protected from local historic preservation controls.

Blue Ribbon Task Force approves transit action plan reform in the Bay Area

By Curtis Driscoll, San Mateo Daily Journal, July 29, 2021. The plan calls for improving service, evaluating funding, and completing a business-case analysis of potential transit network management reforms by mid-2022.

Largest solar plant in Bay Area opposed by Livermore farmers and environmentalists

By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg Green, July 29, 2021. To meet its goal of a carbon-neutral grid by 2045, California will need to triple its annual solar and wind installations.

The solution to Mendocino’s water shortage might involve a very old train

By Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, July 29, 2021. If an emergency fix like the old train is agreed upon, there are still questions about the long-term viability of Mendocino’s water supply.

Building trades push for union workforce in affordable housing bills

By Manuela Tobias, East Bay Times, July 27, 2021. The State Building and Construction Trades council claims non-union construction workers “barely float above the poverty line.”

Op-Ed: “It’s hard to have faith in a state that can’t even house its people”

By Ned Resnikoff, New York Times, July 26, 2021. Homelessness is a humanitarian disaster and a threat to democracy. The cost to overcome it will be high, but the cost of inaction is far higher.

State takes initiative to promote 230-unit Marin housing project

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, July 24, 2021. The project is one of ten following an executive order to create an inventory of state-owned parcels suitable for expedited housing development.

‘Present-day redlining’: Black Bay Area homeowners say their properties are being undervalued

By Lauren Hepler, San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 2021. The federal government has already vowed to recommend appraisal reforms.

Urban farm housing project moves forward in Santa Clara

Stephanie Lam, San Jose Spotlight, July 22, 2021. The developer estimates that the project will account for roughly 10 percent of Santa Clara’s low-income housing target.

Alameda may provide tiny cabins, motel rooms, for homeless residents

By Peter Hegarty, East Bay Times, July 21, 2021. Alameda is still exploring how to implement new permanent housing for the area’s unhoused people.

Bay Area refineries must dramatically cut pollution, Air District says in historic vote

By Ted Goldberg, KQED, July 21, 2021. Air district staff said the rule change will save lives and millions of dollars in health costs.

Visual report: How sea level rise threatens the Bay Area’s roads

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, July 16, 2021. Sonoma County’s Highway 37 provides a dramatic example of flooding vulnerabilities in the Bay Area’s highway system.

This is how much single-family zoning is costing San Franciscans

By Susie Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 2021. A pair of University of Pennsylvania researchers quantified increased land costs due to “restrictive zoning” in SF and other US cities.

SF clashes with scooter company over permit violations: City wins

By Carly Graf, San Francisco Examiner, July 7, 2021. Scoot is out. Two scooter companies remain as options to cover transit service gaps left by the pandemic.

Wealth, class, and remote work reshape California’s boomtowns

By Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2021. Higher-earning migrants also are creating new jobs for working-class locals.

Where in the world?

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Contact us!

Northern News is written for you, by you and your colleagues. We’ll be happy to receive, read, and publish your article. You can see our publication schedule and deadlines here.

Letters and suggestions are always welcome. We’d like to hear what you think is good about Northern News or what needs improvement or is missing.

Northern Section Treasurer Nominations due Sept 30

Northern Section Treasurer Nominations due Sept 30

The Treasurer will serve a two-year term, commencing January 1, 2022. As described in the Section’s Bylaws, Section 4.6.5, the responsibilities of the position include:

Working knowledge of profit and loss statements, balance sheets, reconciliation procedures, Quicken, or other accounting computer software programs as specified by APA California. The Treasurer:

  • Prepares an annual budget for the Section;
  • Receives and is held accountable for all Section accounts and funds;
  • Authorizes disbursement of funds, including through electronic transfers;
  • Collects or designates a responsible person to collect money at events that require a fee;
  • Submits financial reports to the Section Board; and
  • Submits quarterly and year-end financial reports to the Chapter.

Interested Northern Section members in good standing (including incumbent Board members) should submit by September 30, 2021, a complete nomination petition that includes name, address of membership, email, work or daytime phone number, signatures of support from five current Northern Section members, and a brief statement of candidacy (not to exceed 500 words) to the Nomination Committee Chair, Section Director-Elect Michael Cass, directorelect@norcalapa.org.

Electronic ballots will be sent to Section members on October 19, and they will be due November 9, 2021. The Nomination Committee will publish qualifying candidate statements in the November edition of Northern News (online on October 19) and will include on the election ballot all candidates who meet the minimum qualifications as described in the Section Bylaws (Section 4.2.2) which can be found at http://bit.ly/O0dLMo.

Please submit completed nomination petitions to the Nomination Committee Chair, Section Director-Elect Michael Cass, directorelect@norcalapa.org.

Return to Northern News here.

How policymakers could guide redevelopment in California’s fire-prone areas

By Peter Arcuni, KQED, June 22, 2021

“When tragedy strikes, people often rebuild in the same risky places, according to researchers at UC Berkeley and Next 10, a nonprofit think tank, who are urging California policymakers to rethink how communities are rebuilt after destructive wildfires.

“In a new report, [Karen] Chapple [an urban planning professor and director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Community Innovation] and a group of Berkeley graduate students looked at rebuilding alternatives for three California communities that were hit hard by catastrophic fires over the last five years: Santa Rosa, Ventura, and Paradise.

“Following the Tubbs Fire in 2017, Chapple says, Santa Rosa’s planning division mobilized to help homeowners rebuild the homes they lost. But, she said, ‘They helped them rebuild right in place, right back in the wildland-urban interface. And what if they had instead looked at building in an alternative way?’ ”

The report analyzes two redevelopment scenarios: one using incentives to encourage relocation and another where development only occurs in areas with strong wildfire mitigation features. “Researchers compared these scenarios against … the typical ‘rebuilding as usual’ strategy,” relying on existing recovery plans and growth projections.

“The report recommends California policymakers discourage risky development, while incentivizing the development of more affordable housing in lower-risk areas. Prohibitively expensive fire insurance rates may also drive an exodus of people leaving forested, fire-prone areas.

“[Jim] Thorne [a UC Davis landscape ecologist with no connection to the new report] says there is no single, magic solution. Solving this problem will be a process, a policy combination of ‘some carrots and sticks’ along with ‘some ways of moving people around.’ ”

Read the full article here. (~5 min.)

Also in July-August Roundup: Natalie Orenstein in Oaklandside reports on Oakland’s planning commission hearing public comment on a proposal to ban ADUs in the fire-prone Oakland Hills.

Return to Northern News here.

Northern News July-August 2021

Northern News July-August 2021

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Planning news roundup

Assembled by Richard Davis, AICP Candidate, associate editor

Note: Some articles that we link to may be behind paywalls. If you find yourself blocked, add outline.com/ before the links (before the https), and you may be able to read the article without being asked to subscribe. 

How policymakers could guide redevelopment in California’s fire-prone areas

By Peter Arcuni, KQED, June 22, 2021. The report bases its recommendations on an analysis of three rebuilding alternatives for Santa Rosa, Ventura, and Paradise.

How can commercial redevelopment address the California housing crisis?

By Joe Distefano, UrbanFootprint, June 16, 2021. Spatial analytics company UrbanFootprint shows the development potential and limits of SB 6 as currently written.

TransitCenter launches San Francisco-Oakland transit equity dashboard

From TransitCenter, June 17, 2021. The dashboard visualizes disparities in accessibility and reliability of transit across race, income, and other characteristics from February 2020 through February 2021.

A little more remote work could change rush hour a lot

By Emily Badger, The New York Times, June 11, 2021. Less congested city streets could mean faster bus travel, more space for cyclists, and more humane commutes for the people who still drive.

CA high-speed rail will get back federal grant Trump withheld

By Lauren Hernández, San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 2021. The grant funding will assist the High-Speed Rail Authority in completing the project’s ‘initial operating segment’ of the system.

Racial segregation runs deep in San Jose, report says

By Lloyd Alaban, San Jose Spotlight, June 8, 2021. The city intends to incorporate its findings from the state-mandated Assessment of Fair Housing into the next housing element.

Appeal filed against West Berkeley shellmound development

By Mimia Ousilas And Nadia Farjami, The Daily Californian, June 8, 2021. The appeal would block the developers from using SB 35 instead of the city’s usual zoning approval process.

San Jose and San Francisco among cities that saw sharpest pandemic population loss

By William H. Frey, Brookings, June 8, 2021. These population declines could be part of a new trend or, to some degree, temporary.

Klamath River management pivotal in a brewing California-Oregon water crisis

By Emma Marris, The Atlantic, June 5, 2021. Policy that promotes restoration led by Klamath Tribes, federal investment, and partnership with California and Oregon farmers will likely be crucial.

Visual report: How sea level rise threatens SF’s Mission Creek neighborhoods

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, June 4, 2021. Mission Bay is home to thousands of people, and action on sea level rise is urgent.

Oakland considers banning ADUs in the hills to avoid fire danger

By Natalie Orenstein, Oaklandside, June 3, 2021. At a Planning Commission meeting, planning staff and the Oakland Fire Department proposed a blanket ban, while many callers wanted a targeted approach.

New MTC study: Findings for assisting seniors, disabled people on Bay Area transit

From Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Mass Transit Magazine, June 2, 2021. A partnership between MTC and World Institute on Disability resulted in a 2.5-year research and community engagement study with recommendations.

Oakland’s Slow Streets experience may inspire the future of cities

By Adam Mann, Wired UK, June 2, 2021. Oakland’s commitment to equity and willingness to experiment with the public right of way opened new directions in planning.

SF is about to see a wave of affordable housing projects bring 900 homes to the city

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2021. Mayor London Breed said the nine projects represent a ‘central pillar’ of the city’s post-Covid recovery.

San Jose approves Google’s downtown village and campus in historic vote

By Maggie Angst, Mercury News, May 26, 2021. The monumental project marks the largest economic development deal ever made in San Jose.

2020 annual statewide planning survey results released

From Office of Planning and Research, May 24, 2021. OPR’s survey reveals the impacts of COVID-19 on city and county planning departments and actions taken on a range of current challenges.

SB 7 could speed up housing, but it’s unclear how much it will help

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 2021. The legislation requires 15 percent of new housing units be affordable to low-income families and that the projects be built with union labor.

Where in the world?

Tap for the answer

Contact us!

Northern News is written for you, by you and your colleagues. We’ll be happy to receive, read, and publish your article. You can see our publication schedule and deadlines here.

Letters and suggestions are always welcome. We’d like to hear what you think is good about Northern News or what needs improvement or is missing.

Appeal filed against West Berkeley shellmound development

By Mimia Ousilas And Nadia Farjami, The Daily Californian, June 8, 2021

“The city of Berkeley and the Confederated Villages of Lisjan (Ohlone) filed an appeal May 28 with the California Supreme Court against a housing development on the West Berkeley Shellmound.

“The appeal would force the developers to adhere to the city’s usual zoning approval process. The petition notes that construction on the site would result in the destruction of a ‘sacred local Ohlone landmark’ without any mitigation measures in place.

“ ‘While I appreciate that the Court of Appeal’s recognition of the importance of the West Berkeley Shellmound, which the Court acknowledged was first occupied nearly 5,000 years ago, I am disappointed the Court did not preserve the City’s ability to protect the below-ground elements of the shellmound,’ said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín in an email.

“Jeffrey Anhalt, risk manager for [developer] Rue-Ell enterprises, said the site would not require the demolition of a historic structure, as there is ‘no evidence’ of human remains or artifacts at the site. ‘It has been surveyed, drilled, trenched, cored, and studied by teams of archaeologists and other experts for decades.’

“The Court of Appeal’s decision raised questions as to how far the state legislature can override requirements in local jurisdictions, according to city attorney Farimah Brown [who noted] that SB 35 was modified to correct the oversight of tribal resources.

“ ‘Berkeley is built on Ohlone land. The Shellmound is sacred. Our community wants to protect the Shellmound, and the Legislature agrees,’ [wrote Berkeley City Councilmember Sophie] Hahn in an email. ‘We owe it to the Ohlone and our children to keep fighting to protect this sacred place.’ ”

Read the full article here. (~2 min.)

Previously in Roundup: On May 6, 2021, Alan Murphy, an attorney at Perkins Coie LLP, wrote that the court found Berkeley’s historical preservation decision is the kind of barrier to affordable housing development that the Legislature sought to restrict through SB 35. Read his analysis in the June 2021 Northern News here.

Return to Northern News here.

There’s still time to apply for a CPF scholarship

There’s still time to apply for a CPF scholarship

Did you miss the CPF Scholarship Webinar?

Watch the Video and Apply by May 31!

To watch a webinar with information on the scholarships and helpful tips on how to apply, go here, then start your application!

The California Planning Foundation’s 2021 scholarship program is for outstanding planning students enrolled at eligible professional planning degree programs in California. Based on an application and selection process, scholarships are awarded to students seeking to enter the planning profession. Last year, CPF awarded $70,000 in scholarships to 44 outstanding California planning students.

The scholarships are designed for continuing students entering their final year of an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program. Criteria for the scholarships include academic performance, financial need, increasing diversity in the planning profession, and a commitment to serve the planning profession in California after graduation. For more information and a list of eligible degree programs, visit the CPF website.

The deadline to apply for 2021 CPF Scholarships is Monday, May 31, 2021.

Apply once and you’ll be reviewed for all scholarships for which you are eligible. Scholarship recipients will be notified in August. The winners will be acknowledged and honored during the APA California Virtual Conference, September 13-15, 2021.

You’ll find everything you need to know at http://bit.ly/CPF21schO

Return to Northern News here.

Northern News May 2021

Northern News May 2021

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Planning news roundup

Assembled by Richard Davis, AICP Candidate, associate editor

Note: Some articles to which we link may be behind paywalls. If you find yourself blocked, add outline.com/ before the link (before the https), and you may be able to read the article without being asked to subscribe.

Calif. officials announce plan to house 75% of Bay Area’s homeless population by 2024

By Jana Kadah, SFGate, April 14, 2021. The regional plan has input and organizing from the Governor’s Office, local governments, and philanthropic partners.

Millbrae blocks housing deal that would create hundreds of apartments near SFO

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, April 14, 2021. The California Department of Housing and Community Development warned that Millbrae’s zoning change violated state law.

San Francisco Bay: Protection from costly disasters is being thrown away, scientists say

By Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, April 13, 2021. Experts say that recovering dredged sediment costs less than seawalls and brings more benefits.

Stocky modular buildings are popping up in East Bay – developers share their experience

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 2021. Sometimes the potential savings meet expectations; often, they don’t.

Google-backed affordable home site in downtown San Jose could sprout near Shark Tank

By George Avalos, San Jose Mercury News, April 7, 2021. Google intends to donate the land to the city for the development of affordable homes.

HUD report – new approach for estimating costs of homeless encampment responses

From HUD User, April 6, 2021. San Jose’s experience, along with three other U.S. cities, informed a framework that can be applied to many kinds of communities.

The ideology hiding in SimCity’s black box – with comment from James Castañeda, AICP

By Clayton Ashley, Polygon, April 1, 2021. The game was inspired by a book suggesting that social policies meant to help cities are in fact detrimental to their success.

New urban village development threatens to displace San Jose’s 60-year-old Berryessa flea market

By Jennifer Wadsworth, San Jose Spotlight, March 31, 2021. Berryessa flea market business owners and their representatives expect the city or some other public entity to help prevent displacement and gentrification.

President Biden’s infrastructure spending plan could benefit big Bay Area transit projects

By Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, March 31, 2021. The plan is expected to benefit California’s transit agencies and high-speed rail project.

New research: urban and transport planning linked to 2,000 premature deaths per year in Barcelona and Madrid

From Barcelona Institute for Global Health, March 30, 2021. This study is the first to estimate premature mortality impacts and the distribution by socioeconomic status of multiple environmental exposures related to urban planning and transport in the two cities.

What we got wrong about Uber and Lyft

By Shira Ovide, The New York Times, March 29, 2021. A growing body of evidence suggests that on-demand ride services have negatively impacted traffic in major urban downtowns.

California may launch its own version of the Depression-era WPA

By Emily Nonko, Next City, March 25, 2021. The proposal, modeled on SF Creative Corps, would support artists and performers serving as public communicators.

Where in the world?

Tap for the answer

Contact us!

Northern News is written for you, by you and your colleagues. We’ll be happy to receive, read, and publish your article. You can see our publication schedule and deadlines here.

Letters and suggestions are always welcome. We’d like to hear what you think is good about Northern News or what needs improvement or is missing.

Northern News April 2021

Northern News April 2021

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Planning news roundup

11 women whose work can inspire post-pandemic planning

By Lindsay Neiman, Planning Magazine, Winter 2021. This roundup selects just four of the eleven described in the article.

In some cities, the pandemic’s economic pain may continue for a decade

By Mark Muro and Yang You, Brookings, March 11, 2021. New forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offer a useful caution.

Proposed legislation would give cities fewer excuses for blocking housing

By Josh Stephens, CP&DR, March 8, 2021. Hundreds of proposed bills would provide tools for the state and cities to increase housing production.

Study finds wildfire smoke more harmful to humans than pollution from cars

By Nathan Rott, NPR, March 5, 2021. Mitigation for exposure relies on people and households and communities knowing when to avoid smoke exposure.

Bay Area’s migration is real, but Postal Service data shows California exodus isn’t

By Roland Li, Susie Nielson, San Francisco Chronicle, March 2, 2021. Housing costs are often cited as the main reason to move.

Petaluma becomes first in the US to ban new gas stations

By Andrew Chamings, SFGate, March 2, 2021. Existing gas stations will only be allowed to add infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Where the ‘15-minute city’ falls short

By Feargus O’Sullivan, Bloomberg CityLab, March 2, 2021. Toronto-based urban designer and thinker Jay Pitter argues it risks entrenching social divisions.

Will ending single-family zoning create more housing?

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, February 28, 2021. Developers, architects, and housing advocates provide their perspective on the question.

Berkeley begins process to end single-family zoning

By Supriya Yelimeli, Berkeleyside, February 24, 2021. Berkeley was the first city in the United States to enact single-family zoning in 1916.

Cities aren’t shrinking because everyone’s moving out, but because no one’s moving in

By Henry Grabar, Slate, February 22, 2021. If the populations of the nation’s largest cities are truly plummeting, they are in big trouble.

Where in the world?

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We’ll be happy to receive, read, and publish your articles and views.

Northern News is written for you, by you and your colleagues. Letters, suggestions, and articles are always welcome. Write an article. Tell us what you like about Northern News. Tell us what needs improvement.

Northern News February 2021

Northern News February 2021

Northern News

APA-CA-logo-no-tagline

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

Making great communities happen

Where in the world?

Tap for the answer

Northern Section news and announcements

Planning news roundup

San Francisco office vacancy rate eclipses financial-crisis high

By Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg, January 12, 2021. There are already signs of an early rebound in leases.

Newsom’s proposed budget includes intergovernmental Housing Accountability Unit

Josh Stephens, California Planning & Development Report, January 11, 2021. The unit will act as a housing ‘ombudsman’ and help cities navigate RHNA compliance.

SF, UCSF community benefits package for Parnassus Heights project not enforceable

NBC Bay Area, January 4, 2021, and SF Examiner, January 11, 2021. The hospital modernization and expansion promises investments in housing, transit, and workforce training, but supervisors want legal assurance of UCSF’s commitments.

Caltrain talks regional rail

Curtis Driscoll, Daily Journal Staff, January 8, 2021. A possible partnership with BART would integrate transit schedules and services.

Newsom wants to send $600 to millions of Californians, extend renter protections

Ben Christopher, CalMatters, January 8, 2021. It’s not clear when these proposed measures will be formally introduced and if they actually pass the legislature.

New study suggests Uber and Lyft could increase car ownership

By David Grossman, Inverse, January 7, 2021. Contrary to their expectations, researchers found a slight increase on average across 224 cities.

‘Slow Streets’ disrupted city planning. What comes next?

Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, January 6, 2021. City planners and equity advocates in Oakland and across the country reflect on the potential for trauma-informed planning.

Steep rent declines across the Bay Area in 2020

By Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2021. Seasonal effects on rents mean they are likely to stay low for several more months.

Residential redevelopment of commercially zoned land in California

New analysis finds untapped potential statewide for mixed-use and infill development.

Why don’t we treat housing as infrastructure?

Sarah Karlinsky and Cristian Bevington, City Monitor, December 22, 2020. A new SPUR report showcases international strategies for housing production and affordability.