Regional agencies are continually compiling resources that local governments can use
to promote increased housing and transportation choice in their communities. This page
includes resources developed by regional agencies and local governments, as well as
topical reports and publications.
This comprehensive website is an excellent resource on dealing with foreclosures, including recent innovations and details on funding through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The site includes easily accessible information on a broad range of state and local policy solutions, as well as tools to create customized data reports and maps and participate in interactive online discussions.Resources on Stormwater Management
Many cities are working to modernize their water resources, and California regulations for stormwater management are quickly changing. The UC Davis center for water and land use offers resources on how to sustainably manage storm water, and conducts regional workshops on how to design and implement low-impact development (LID).
The San Francisco Estuary Project, an ABAG sister agency that works to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, has a launched a Green Infill-Clean Stormwater Program
through FOCUS. The program is funding several LID projects in Priority Development Areas.Tug-Of-War: Good Schools and Their Role in Infill
Good quality schools are an important factor in infill development. ABAG demographic research finds that although school enrollment is down in most parts of the Bay Area, pre-primary enrollment has grown in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sonoma and Marin counties. Ensuring that these children can go to good neighborhood schools is one of the most important ways that we can support smart growth.
For more information about how cities and schools can collaborate effectively, contact FOCUS staff or the UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools. The Center for Cities and Schools will be partnering with FOCUS in 2009-2010 to build local and regional capacity for incorporating schools into sustainable planning.
NEW FILM: Building Communities We Care About
How does the region's high cost of housing and incessant traffic congestion affect our schools, families and communities? What can we do about it?
Watch Building Communities We Care About, a short film featuring heart-warming stories from Bay Area residents, which reveal the often hidden, and highly personal costs of these regional issues. It highlights choices we have to fix some of these problems by developing our communities
in new ways. You will hear from people living in transit villages, in affordable housing, safe communities, and near parks. You'll also hear stories of those who have gotten involved locally and are making a difference. The Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities created this film and an accompanying discussion guide for local governments and community groups to re-frame development issues.
You may need to open the film in an external movie player.
Grocery Store Attraction: Food, Markets, and Healthy Communities
Low income households spend almost as much as wealthy households on food. So why do some neighborhoods lack quality grocery stores? A day long program by PolicyLink and Lisc explored this question and put forward strategies for local governments and community organizations to attract grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods.
FOCUS Regional Best Practices Conference Series
The FOCUS Regional Best Practices Conference Series was created to encourage sharing of best practices and local experiences. To date, the series has included sessions on community engagement, transit-oriented development, and housing. Click on the link above to view materials from these sessions, and to learn about future conferences.
ABAG's report A Place to Call Home: Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area emphasizes the importance of encouraging housing development in existing communities and near transit. A shift toward this development pattern can improve the quality of life in the region, particularly by expanding housing and transportation choices. The report presents some of the best practices and tools that local communities are using to promote housing in these locations. It also documents local government progress in meeting the housing targets established for 1999-2006 as part of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation process.
Planning for Equity
In the last few years, regional agencies in the Bay Area have worked to define and promote social equity. Equity policies are an important aspect of FOCUS, which aims to maximize the positive community benefits of developing near transit. As neighborhoods improve and property values rise, there are several stratgies governments can undertake to prevent the displacement of low-income residents. In summer of 2007, ABAG produced a report on current research and policies. Learn more by viewing the ABAG report and presentation summarizing current research on tools to curb displacement.
PolicyLink, a national research and action institute, has a useful toolkit of policies cities can adopt to promote social and economic equity. Local governments can visit their Equitable Development Toolkit online by clicking here.
ABAG, PolicyLink, and the Center for Community Innovation at UC-Berkeley are pooling resources to help Bay Area governments promote equitable development, including community participation in planning.
The FOCUS program will award two grants for community-based efforts to address neighborhood development without displacement.
For more information, contact Marisa Cravens, ABAG Regional Planner, at MarisaC@abag.ca.gov.
How did parking get to be such a hot topic in planning? Managing parking can encourage downtown development and create a reliable fund for public improvements. For resources on creating more vibrant downtowns through parking management, please visit MTC's webpage for the regional parking study and toolbox.
MTC's report New Places, New Choices: Transit-Oriented Development in the San Francisco Bay Area captures the variety and appeal of the new pattern of housing development near transit in the Bay Area and showcases 10 shining examples of transit-oriented districts and corridors. In words and full-page photos, the report makes the case for replicating these best practices around the region.
For a more hands-on promotion of new development near transit, ABAG and MTC co-sponsor the Urban Land Institutes annual TOD Marketplace. The Marketplace brings together developers and planners to offer advice and suggestions on emerging transit area plans.
Best Practices: Examples from Cities in the Bay Area and Beyond
Many local governments and community organizations have developed tools that may be
helpful to others who are working to expand housing and transportation choices in their
Industrial to Residential Conversion
The conversion of industrially-zoned lands to residential uses is a complex issue. Many communities in the Bay Area are targeting industrial lands for conversion to residential uses as a way to address the need for more housing options. Although this strategy can re-invigorate older buildings and neighborhoods, it can also threaten job creation and the economy. While some areas are appropriate for residential uses, others are far from services, parks, and transit.
The City of Santa Clara has developed a useful set of Industrial to Residential Conversion Planning Criteria Guidelines that help local governments evaluate proposed conversions for General Plan and zoning compatibility, residential suitability, environmental compatibility, service availability, and other criteria. Use of these guidelines can help a city decide if residential zoning is appropriate in their area.
The City of San Francisco held a summit on Industrial Land in its Eastern neighborhoods (now a FOCUS PDA) in 2002. View the presentation from July 30, 2002. The City also produced a report on industrial land uses, "Understanding Production, Distribution and Repair."
The City of San Jose also has a conversion ordinance.
For a perspective on the links between industrial land and job opportunities for low-income communities, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy has authored a paper recommending strategies for Retaining Manufacturing In Oakland.
The City of Seattle authored a comparative study on what other North American cities, including San Francisco, are doing to retain or convert industrial lands.