Category: Design

South San Francisco Looking for Applicants for their Design Review Board

The City of South San Francisco is now accepting applications for those interested in serving on the City’s Design Review Board (DRB) advisory committee.  Following the approval of the City’s Downtown Station Area Specific Plan (DSASP) in 2015, the City has experienced a substantial increase in development interest and applications citywide. To learn more about the exciting developments taking shape in South San Francisco, please view the City’s Development and Construction Map.

The full recruitment notice is available on the City’s website. For any questions regarding the Design Review Board or the application itself, please call 650-877-8535.

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

Green Guru Gone Wrong or is there a Bigger Story?

In 2008, FastCompany published this article on William McDonough that is well rounded and a great example of good reporting. It exposed some gaps between the talk and the walk. However, is the issue really McDonough’s personal-professional challenges or society having the capacity to recognize the larger value he produced and runnng with it, with or without him?

Here was my post after finishing the article: Bill’s personal failings, challenges, call them what you may, his only too-human foibles, are unfortunate (but we all have some variety of them do we not?). They do interfere with his potential to be the personal champion for the next industrial revolution. However, it is important to separate the person, even project performance, from his ideas.

The awesome potential of William McDonough as a force for the sustainable/regenerative economic transformation we so urgently need does not lie in his person, but in his ideas. His ideas are conceputally accessible to anyone with logical capacity and ecological education. He has conceputally illuminated the DNA of an economy that not only would have restorative environmental impacts, but which could be a wildly more productive economy to boot, thereby laying the material foundation for a sustainable global society in the biosphere. Given the impoverishment of two-fifths or more of the 7 billion of us on the planet now, and the 2-4 billion more that are arriving daily between now and 2050, a radical increase in economic productivity is absolutely necessary but insufficent for success. Doing it in a way that is net-positive, that is environmentally restorative and enhancing of the biosphere’s regnerative capacity is the essential quality, the necessary and sufficient condition for humanity’s regenerative success in the universe.

However, getting there will take more than the persuasive power of one charismatic designer, with or without foibles! We must embrace his concepts, develop the implications in all areas from design to science to economics to policy, and collaboratively execute at lightening speed and globally. Designing the vehicle for that insitutional collaboration should be the next challenge we address. As is true of most human challenges, they illuminate issues that need to be understood differently, executed differently, if we are to be successful. We all have our own agendas for personal/professional development, but let’s certainly not wait for Mr. McDonough to work out his. There’s a much larger drama in play and it needs our attention now.

SPUR – Regenerative Design 091311 6 pm

EVENT:  Sustainability remains at the forefront of innovation in the design professions as our urban challenges persist. LEED and other metrics have brought the conversation to the mainstream, and yet there is doubt that such measures can make a big enough difference to solve the problems at hand. Sandy Mendler, Robert L. Thayer and Sim Van der Ryn will explore the future of sustainable design, with a focus on regenerative design solutions. Co-presented with UC Berkeley Extension’s Sustainable Design Program.

This event is free and open to the public.

Regenerative design

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
6:00 pm