Category: Community Sustainability Planning

As residents grapple with smog, Vietnam pushes renewable energy

By Michael Tatarski, New Naratif, March 16, 2020

Northern News presents these excerpts from a 2300-word article. You can read the full article here.

“Vietnam’s economy has … helped the country climb up the global development ladder, and it’s repeatedly been declared a winner of the US-China trade war amid major shifts in production by the world’s biggest companies.

“This growth has fueled a building boom, along with an explosion in car and motorbike ownership. Increased industrial production, widespread construction, and more vehicle emissions might be signs of a healthy economy, but at the cost of health problems for the people living among them.

“Katherine Nguyen moved to the city from San Jose, California, in 2009. ‘It wasn’t a concern at the time,’ she recalls. ‘I never even thought about it. But recently there have been spikes where the AQI turns red (unhealthy) or purple (very unhealthy) on the app.’ Nguyen’s family have responded by installing air purifiers in each living space in their apartment.

“Despite being Vietnam’s most populous city and economic engine, the air quality in Ho Chi Minh City used to be generally better than in Hanoi, the country’s capital. But while the situation has further deteriorated in Hanoi, things aren’t much better in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Ho Chi Minh City, and Vietnam as a whole, are often portrayed as lands of bountiful economic opportunities for people across classes. But when the construction and development that boosts economic growth is also generating these impacts to health and quality of life, people have to figure out how to deal with the situation according to their means.

Typical traffic in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Naphtali Knox, FAICP

“People working outside, or without the means to afford air filters and high-quality masks, face even more health risks, as they are in the middle of dense traffic for hours at a time. They are also reticent about speaking to the press about their experience, given that the issue is often seen as rather politically sensitive.

“Meanwhile, large-scale potential solutions — mass public transit, for example — are years away from becoming reality. Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line won’t start operating until 2021 at the earliest, with any further lines expected to take several more years of construction, while Hanoi’s first line has been 99 percent complete for nearly a year, with no opening date in sight.

“As of now, buses are the only form of public transportation, while huge construction projects continue to emit dirt, dust, and other particles into the air, and industrial parks expand capacity to welcome companies escaping the trade war.”

Michael Tatarski is a journalist based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He focuses on the environment, urban development, and social issues. Find him on Twitter @miketatarski.

Read the full article here

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.]

Sustainability Champions Launch

The APA’s Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) launched its sustainability leadership program, the Sustainability Champion (SC) program after nominations were made and champions were selected in August-September, 2014.

Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA, of the APA California Northern Section was selected as one of the champions and is looking forward to working with the California Chapter Board and planners in creating an initiative to advance sustainability planning in California communities.

He will continue his Research Lead role in the Northern Section APA Sustainability Committee, which he proposed and co-directed with Katja Irvin, until January 2013.

The Northern Section Sustainability Committee will be one of the inaugural members of the SCD’s Sustainability Champions California program, and Scott will lead that work.

The APS SCD champion’s program grew out of the research and facilitated discussion that Scott initiated for the 2013 APA National Conference in Chicago (see this post:  ).

Champions work in California since the Fall of 2016 has involved XXXX

A programmatic offering will be launched state-wide at the APA California Pasadena 2016 Conference . . ..


For information, questions, joining the e-list, or interest in volunteering, please send Scott an email at

Bio:  forthcoming.

[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.]

Regenerative Urbanism Rising – Webinar & Resources

More resources on the APA Sustainable Communities Division web site here.

There is also a Sustainable Communities Division Group Linked In discussion here.

A list or key references and links can be found here (forthcoming July 16th).

SHORT Description.  Pivoting from a net negative to net positive trajectory soon is our current sustainability planning challenge.  Regeneration is the theme that is bubbling up across our plan, design, and build professions and the key to the pivot/shift.  The upcoming APA webcast planning series WEBINAR on Regenerative Urbanism Rising – Platform for Next Generation Practice, explores this challenge, theme, and potential as described below.  Click here to register.


July 15,  WEBINAR:  Regenerative Urbanism Rising: Next-Generation Practice, APA Planning WebCast Series, FRI, July 15, 10-11:30 am (PST), (SCD description) (register).  This Webinar presents the case for the necessary sustainability pivot from net negative to net positive sustainability planning (Scott Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SASF Planning Dept.; APA Sustainability Champion) and illustrates accelerating innovation across our plan-design-build professions of a net positive approach with two practice cases. The first is an integrated utility system based on “circular economy” principles and a new business model (Joshua Foss, President, The Ecala Group). It can be used as a primary vehicle for achieving net positive, restorative city development and goals. The second is a regenerative approach to planning and designing high-performance districts that creates better places at the same or lower costs than traditional development (Charles Kelley, AIA, Partner, ZGF Architects). The Webinar illustrates how a regenerative  built environment both becomes and creates a cornerstone of the needed ecological economy of a sustainable city and society. This Webinar re-presents the Sustainable Communities Division’s by-right session at the National APA Conference this past April 2016, and is offered as part of the Division’s Sustainability Champions Program. Go here to registerGo here for a LinkedIn pre-webinar discussion. Comments and questions to

CM | 1.5.

[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.]

The Greening of Planning Credentials – Top Recommendations

This is a cross post from Planetizen written by Eliot Allen, LEED AP-ND, who is an instructor for and a principal at Criterion Planners of Portland Oregon. Monday, November 9, 2015 – 2:00pm PST.

As sustainability initiatives gain momentum, planners have a growing number of options for credentialing their green skills.

Introduction:  “With this year on track to be the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 2015 global analysis, the imperative of sustainable community planning continues to mount. More communities are adopting sustainability and climate action plans. More developers are incorporating green features into their projects. And those green features are becoming more innovative and expansive. All of which is increasing the need for planning practitioners with experience and credentials that organizations can rely on for effectively accomplishing sustainability initiatives.

Go to:

[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.]

Vitaliy Krasovskiy / Shutterstock


UCB/APA Briefing: The UN’s New SDGs & Implications for Local Practice

acey-charisma_bio_photo2_2_200_200UNAssemblySDGsSUMMARY.  December 8 & 10 (TUES & THURS), 2:00-5pm (the Briefing starts at 3pm; the optional pre-briefing review of city cases starts at 2pm), University of California, College of Environmental Design, Wurster Hall, Room 106, Berkeley. Please attend one or both days. The briefing will be the same each day but half the cases will be covered Tues. and half Thurs. With world leaders adopting the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this past September, this UCB/APA Briefing will summarize the new goals and present the semester-long class findings on the implications for local practice. The briefing will be base
d on 11 case studies of Bay Area cities paired with international cities around a theme (see details below). The ensuing discussion with Professor Acey and students will explore the implications further so that practitioners take away ideas for new practices in their work. No fee event. See the details below for a list of cities and background documents. Please email RSVP to Scott (day(s), arrival
time, need for parking)
and/or with questions at  CM | 1.5 pending

DETAIL. Are you curious to learn more about the SDGs and understand the implications for your local planning practice and city? Then come join Professor Charisma Acey and her students in a Practicing Planner Briefing. This lively and interactive presentation will build on two previous UCB/APA sessions that evaluated Bay Area sustainability (NOT pre-perquisites).

Planners are invited to attend one or both days.  The discussion and cities reviewed will be different each day (see below) but the core points of the briefing and focus on practical implications for local practice will be the same. The pre-briefing will start at 2pm with the final review of case study city poster boards. It will provide some background for the briefing. Although optional, attending it is highly encouraged and provides an opportunity to engage with students in the review dialogue.

The briefing will begin at 3pm with a summary debrief from the case-study review. Professor Acey will then provide a wider overview of the SDGs and summary beginning at 3:30pm. This overview will set up the planner/practitioner-student-professor discussion focused on forging new ideas that planners feel would be relevant for their work. The pre-Briefing and Briefing provide an opportunity for students and professionals to exchange ideas on this important topic and a forum for praxis (academia and practice informing each other). Light refreshments will be available.

Two previous UCB/APA sessions evaluated Bay Area sustainability through the lens of Plan Bay Area and the APA’s draft comprehensive plan criteria. This Briefing will focus on SD Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In the semester-long upper division class project (CY Plan 119: Planning for Sustainability), 11 student teams evaluated how the Bay Area fits into global sustainability efforts through a case study pairing one Bay Area City and one international city around a key theme to see how they are locally tackling global sustainability. The city pairs and themes are as follows:

TUESDAY Dec. 8th (Pre-Briefing final case study review from 2-3pm. Briefing at 3pm)

  • Emeryville – Norwegian cities: Climate Change Adaptation
  • Oakland‐Belgium: Dealing with Port Pollution (or Toronto: Food Security)
  • San Jose – Brazil: Sustainability through Participation
  • Petaluma ‐ Yangtze River Delta: River Management
  • San Francisco – Greater Cairo: Brownfield Regeneration

THURSDAY Dec 10th (Pre-Briefing final case study review from 2-3pm. Briefing at 3pm)

  • Berkeley ‐ Niassa, Mozambique: Intermediate Cities
  • Dublin – Shenzhen: Sustainable Economic Development
  • Fremont – Santa‐Fe, Argentina: Intermediate Cities
  • Mountain View — Ahmedabad: Inclusion through Transport
  • Richmond – Melbourne: Greening the City
  • San Rafael – Lyon: Planning for Inclusion and Quality of Life

We look forward to meeting you and learning with you at this briefing.

Professor Charisma Acey & Scott T. Edmondson, AICP

[Charisma Acey, M.P.P., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor Department of City and Regional Planning University of California, Berkeley. 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.]


A description of the semester project is available here:   CP 119 Group Assignment Handout Fall 15. That description includes links to a set of key resources about the SDGs and the work of two previous classes on sustainability in the Bay Area.

Additional core documents include the following:

Materials from the last two CP 119 courses, include:

Last year’s memos to city planning directors on how to enhance the local sustainability value of Plan Bay Area here:

PDF — Conference Atttendance Summary















NEW Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

NEWS–The World Has New SD Goals

Historic Event. The Global Goals For Sustainable Development. “This weekend (Sept. 26-27, 2015) 193 world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals to achieve three extraordinary things over the next 15 years: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and fix climate change – in all countries, for all people.”

See Bioregional’s role and story (5 min vid) securing the Sustainable Production/Consumption Goal. It’s an inspiring example of:

  • A small group that worked for a long time to add their ideas to the SDGs.
  • A message to communicate, inspire, and motivate (text + vid)
  • The big effect one small sustainability initiative can have, bioregionalism, an old concept, and the One Planet Living sustainability framework.

SD Goal 11 — Sustainable Cities & Communities

And then, of course, they include SDG 11, just for us! The objectives stake out quite an ambitious agenda, even if not entirely concrete. Accomplishing this goal and its objectives by 2030 will require inventing the spatial manifestation of a regenerative economy, as in regenerative city-regions, on the fly, as we build one new city of 1M per week and reweave the existing urban fabric to achieve sustainable cities and communities, all within a generation. As local community sustainability planners, we have a new context in which to do our work.


This commitment to a new set of global goals for sustainable development is a “huge” deal. The Goals become the international sustainability baseline, touchstone, and driver of all UN related resources, programs, etc. ushering in an institutional change.

As great as these new goals are on one level, the discourse about them is often framed in “old school” concepts such as efficiency, mitigation, and a win/lose relationship between the economy and environment.

Yet, maybe the audacious goals of “ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and fixing climate change – in all countries, for all people” will push the creativity to the source challenges and transformational solutions, such as creating within one generation by 2030 the material basis for a sustainable society (and requirement for “fixing” climate change):

  • a regenerative ecological economy, including
    • 100% renewable energy
    • 100% materials cycling
    • 100% water reuse
    • with 10x the current economy’s productivity
  • and compliance with the 4 Sustainability Principles of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD)

Regardless, the new goals are a huge sustainability accomplishment 23 years after Rio, and a big step forward. They are the new international conceptual foundation for creating a sustainable world.

[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.]

APA California Conference 2015 Sustainability Sessions

The following is a selection of the main sustainability sessions at the Oakland Conference, including an informal pre-conference Sustainability Planning Meet-Up hosted by the Northern Section Sustainability Committee (Friday, Oct 2nd; see details below).


Sustainable Neighborhoods Pre-conference Meet-Up (5:30-8:30pm) hosted by the Northern Section Sustainability Committee and the Sustainable Communities Division Champion ( at Swan’s Market, Old Oakland.  Meet colleagues and explore a redevelopment success over wine/ beer, a tour of Swan’s Market & Co-housing, and dinner afterwards at The Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market.  Light drink and snack provided, additional food and drink available for purchase. Register at Eventbrite to make logistics easy. Email


Pre-Conference Session No. 2: What the FLUP? Future Land Use Planning for Safe, Smart and Sustainable Communities. 8:45am-2:45pm (additional fee $75).

Session Block #1, 3-4:30pm:

  • Paradigm Shift in Water Use – Reworked Local & Global Water Policies & Programs
  • Cap and Trade and Disadvantaged Communities: How to Engage Residents and Plan Projects that Get Dollars and Make Sense


Mobile Workshop #3: 8-12pm. From Vision to aThriving Neighborhood: Cultural Vibrancy and Economic Vitality in Mission Bay, $35 additional fee applies

Session Block No. 2: 10am-11:30am

  • Regional Equity and Sustainability from the Ground Up: Tapping Community Wisdom in Land Use & Transportation Planning
  • Three Resilient Cities: Applying the Concept of Resiliency to Land Use Planning and Decision Making.

Mobile Workshop #4: 10am-2:30pm: Green Infrastructure Bay Area: Green Infrastructure Takes in the East Bay – $50 additional fee applies, includes lunch

Session Block No. 3: 1:15pm-2:45 pm

  • Food Cities: Planning for the Regional Economy
  • Bay Area Sustainability: Wicked Planning and Conflict Identification at Local and Regional Scales
  • Creating a Cultural EcoDistrict for Generations to Come
  • The Ecological City: A Design Workshop

Session Block #4, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

  • Climate Action Planning: Silver Bullets, Buckshot or Blanks?
  • The Los Angeles River: Recalibrating the Role of Water, Infrastructure and Place


Session Block #5, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

  • Sustainable Groundwater Management Comes to California: Time for Planners to Get Their Feet Wet
  • Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities: What Does it Take to Integrate Housing and Transportation?
  • Advancing Equity in Innovation Economies
  • Vision Zero: Roots for Policy Change, Improved Public Health, and Safe Streets
  • Rethinking Local in Global Context: Experiments and Lessons in Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Participatory Design

Session Block #6, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

  • Oakland Makers: Planning for New and Creative Innovative Industries
  • To Infinity … and Beyond: Exploring Post-2020 GHG Reductions

Session Block #7, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

  • Utilizing Integrated Utility Systems to Deliver Restorative City Goals
  • Resilience is the New Black – What Do We Mean by Resilience Planning, and Aren’t We Doing it Already?
  • Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges for Integrating Green Infrastructure with Urban Design in the SF Bay Area

Session Block #8, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

  • It’s a Gas – Producing BioEnergy from Organic Waste in California
  • Sustainability Jeopardy!
  • Manifest Density: A Reality Check for The Sustainable Communities Strategy


Session Block #9, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

  • Building Consensus for Sustainable Streets
  • Climate Action Planning and Urban Greening: Weaving Together Health, Resilience and Equity

Session Block #10, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

  • San Francisco’s Sustainability Districts: Translating Policy Into Action

APA California 2015 Conference Sustainability Sessions — The Upcoming Sustainability “Pivot” From “Less Damage” to “Regenerative Urbanism”

The sustainability sessions in APA California’s Conference 2015 reflect emerging best practices in sustainability planning across the planning-design-build professions.  Topics covered include water reuse, urban food, GHG cap & trade, green infrastructure, spaces for makers, health, affordability, district-scale initiatives, equity, innovation economics, and resilience (the new sustainability).   These innovative techniques and policy trends can be interpreted as laying the foundation for the next step in sustainability planning–a ‘pivot‘ from a net-negative, “doing-less-harm” mitigation approach to a net-positive, “doing-good,” regenerative city approach (see summary

And what more appropriate place to hold this conference than the City of Oakland? The San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose Bay Area has been innovating for sustainability since the Brundtland Report ( ) first issued the challenge in 1987 and the UN Earth Summit ( put it on the world development agenda in 1992.

Key Bay Area innovations include:

  1. Joint Venture Silicon Valley Indicators (annual, since 1995;
  2. Blue Print for a Sustainable Bay Area, Urban Ecology (1996;
  3. Sustainable Oakland Program, City Council (1997;
  4. Sustainability Plan for the City and County of San Francisco and a new Commission on the Environment (1997; and
  5. Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities Regional Initiative and the Compact for a Sustainable Bay Area (1998-9; and the Compact
  6. Marin Countywide Plan: Sustainable Marin – Nature, Built Environment & People (2007; General Plan (
  7. San Jose’s Envision 2040 General Plan ( ) & Green Vision (; 2007)
  8. Plan Bay Area 2040 (2013;
  9. Palo Alto Forward: Sustainability + Mobility As A Service (2015;

In recent years, APA National has strongly embraced sustainability with powerful initiatives:

  1. Policy Guide on Planning for Sustainability (2000;
  2. Sustaining Places Initiative (2010;
  3. Sustaining Places: The Role of the Comprehensive Plan (PAS 567, 2012;
  4. Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places (2013+;
  5. Sustainable Communities Division (SCD; 2013;

The APA California Chapter supports sustainability through its annual conference and its Sections’ local initiatives. The Northern Section Board under Hansom Hom’s leadership launched its Sustainability Committee in January 2011 to provide a resource to advance sustainability planning best practices by establishing a learning/practice network (Committee As of 2013, it was one of only five sustainability committees of APA State Chapters nationally (Summary, Recently, the California Chapter under Hing Wong began working with the Sustainable Communities Division’s (SCD’s) local Sustainability Champion to accelerate and deepen sustainability planning in California (summary post,; and SCD Newsletter Article, p 4, The Chapter’s upcoming Oakland conference continues this tradition of innovation with a rich set of sustainability sessions and workshops that illuminate the leading edge.

Three sessions submissions prompted by the Northern Sustainability Committee were made the competitive proposal process. They illustrate key threads of the emerging, next-generation approach to sustainability planning—an ecosystems approach to regenerative city planning that delivers higher value and multiple benefits compared to traditional “silo” approaches. Explore this approach in these two sessions.

  • The Ecological City: A Design Workshop, SUN, Oct 3rd, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm (Session Block #3). Explore the challenges, opportunities, and a framework to apply ecological ideas to city planning around three goals: (1) connecting humans to nature; (2) connecting sites to ecosystems; and (3) integrating systemic impacts into decision-making.
  • Bay Area Sustainability: Wicked Planning and Conflict Identification at Local and Regional Scales, SUN, Oct 3rd, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm (Session Block # 3). Climate change and sustainability are “wicked” problems representing conflicts over the greater good. Using Plan Bay Area and sustainability plans of 11 cities across the region, this session will provide tools for conflict identification and methods for planners to help adversarial stakeholders find common ground while retaining their core values.
  • Utilizing Integrated Utility Systems to Deliver Restorative City Goals, MON, Oct 5th, 1:15-2:45pm (Session Block #7). This interactive session will present a pioneering restorative city framework and an Integrated Utility System (IUS) model that planners can use to unlock new levels of environmental, social, and economic sustainability performance. It will also outline a “turnkey” approach to assessing, designing, financing, and delivering an IUS at no cost to cities.

In addition, the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee will host a pre-conference meet-up social (complimentary wine/appetizers) and then tour of Swan’s Market and Co-housing, followed by dinner at Swan’s Market (5:30-8:30pm FRI Oct 2nd; details here (

Conference Sustainability Sessions

Please see the following post in this Plan-it sustainably blog for a list of the more than 30 conference sessions anticipated on the topic of sustainability. You may also find this summary of regenerative urbanism useful.

(Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, is the founder/past co-director/current Research Lead of the California APA Northern Sustainability Committee, a Sustainable Communities Division Sustainability Champion, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist with the San Francisco Planning Department.)

Sustainable Neighborhood Pre-Conference Tour and Social

The APA California Northern Section Sustainability Committee and the APA Sustainable Community Division’s Champion Program hosted Sustainable Neighborhood Sustainability Committee Pre-conference MeetUp at Swans Market in Old Oakland on Friday, October 2, 2015. About 30 members enjoyed complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, toured the adjacent C0-housing project (one of the oldest in the Nation) with the project sponsor, two residents, and the lead planner, and afterwards enjoyed dinner at The Cock & Her Farmer in Swan’s market. a Summary and the event invitation follow below.


Hors D’oeuvres and dinner were hosted in Swan’s Market courtesy of  Romney Steele, Owner, The Cook and Her Farmer (THANK YOU Romney!). Romney is a chef, small business owner, cookbook author, food writer, and community builder. She opened her latest Project, the Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market with Steven Day a year ago last summer and provided insights about the business side of this successful urban regeneration project.

For the Co-housing tour, we were fortunate to hear insights about this 15-year old urban regeneration and innovative land use project from some of the key players.

  1. Josh Simon, Executive Director EBALDC (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation)
  2. Neil Planchon and Michael Coleman, Swan’s Market Cohousing Residents
  3. Patrick Lane, Redevelopment Manager with the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department, Project Implementation Division

Josh has worked with East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation for 14 of the last 21 years as both Executive Director, and Director of Real Estate. His career has been dedicated to working with coalitions of organizations to develop and maintain healthy vibrant neighborhoods and the creation of “Community Hubs” such as Swan’s Market. Josh brings both the technical expertise to develop affordable housing and mixed use community facilities, as well as the clear sighted leadership necessary for the best neighborhood driven outcomes.  Neil has been working actively involved with the Old Oakland Neighborhood Association for 13 years, and with the Cohousing Association of the US for the past 8 years, a non profit whose mission is to promote the awareness and development of cohousing and to provide sustenance to existing cohousing communities in the United States. For the past 11 years, Patrick has worked collaboratively on any number of the City of Oakland redevelopment projects including Swan’s Market. He was also formerly a Manager in the City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency.

The insights into this project provided by the core team were eye-opening in terms of what it takes to make the initial idea work and then keep it working, not the least of which is stakeholder commitment and the occasional serendipitous happenings. Neil provided an invaluable book as a resource, Cohousing–A contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves (just published 2nd edition).

A big thanks to Kate Howe, a planner with VIA Architecture, and Director of the San Francisco Office, who took the concept, found the event location, lined up the tour guides, organized the hosting at The Cock & Her Farmer, signed in attendees, and generally made this event a success. Also, a big thanks to Katja Irvin and Rae Smith, who worked with Kate to make this event happen.

Swan’s Market


What–Social/Tour/Dinner:  Meet colleagues and explore a redevelopment success over wine/ beer, a tour of Swan’s Market & Co-housing, Old Oakland and dinner afterwards at The Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market.  Light drink and snack provided, additional food and drink available for purchase.

Explore this historic 1916 produce market adapted for small restaurant kiosks as well as a co-housing project. Tour guides will discuss history, redevelopment and co-housing (1 CM Credit Pending).

When: Friday, October 2nd, 5:30 – 8:30 pm:

  • 5:30-6:15:  meet-up, soft start, complimentary wine/snack (in Swan’s Market)
  • 6:15-6:30:  talk (in Swan’s Market)
  • 6:30-7:30: tour (market & co-housing: Guides from EBALDC & Oakland Planning)
  • 7:30-8:30: dinner at The Cook and Her Farmer or other venues at Swan’s Market.

Where: Swan’s Market, 907 Washington St (enter from 9th Street between Clay & Washington), Old Oakland (4 blocks from 12th St. BART). Map (click).   Enter off 9th Street (between Clay & Washington) through glass doors to a few “APA”-marked tables in the center of the room.

Please REGISTER at Eventbrite to make logistics easier.

Questions:; also

[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.]