We are back from the Labor Weekend and glad to have almost everyone in the office this week!
Last Friday, we had a guest presenter for our brown-bag lunch hour. Heather Bromfield presented her very interesting thesis on how Brazilian cities used vacant and underutilized land in downtown areas to address unmet housing needs for workers and the potential to apply such an approach in other contexts, such as in the U.S.
In my research, I explore a Brazilian zoning designation – called “Special Social Interest Zones” (ZEIS) – that obligates property owners to produce affordable housing in areas with plentiful amenities, especially rapid transit access. I focus on one case study in the historical downtown area of São Paulo, Brazil, and use my findings from interviews with residents of a new housing development to understand how well this zoning designation was able to meet the intent of the policy. I also discuss how a similar zoning policy might be possible in California in light of the unmet housing needs here, by focusing on the specific challenges and possibilities presented by U.S. land use law and legal precedents.
– Heather Bromfield
On track with this topic, check out this article from the The Mercury about the Habitat Conference in Quito, Ecuador and the future of City Design in general.
“How cities look — the grand vistas, monuments and planning schemes so beloved of developers and politicians — is unlikely to figure on the Quito agenda. The focus will be on how cities can better serve the needs of inhabitants, rich and poor.”
Strategic Economics was one of the Project Leads for the Using Smart Growth Strategies to Foster Economic Development: A Kelso, Washington, Case Study (2015). This study aims to help cities like Kelso rethink how to address economic development challenges with small, manageable solutions that create stronger, more resilient communities. A smart growth economic development strategy needs to support businesses and workers and improve quality of life. Smart growth approaches bring together these elements and recognize the balance among them and the need to create long-term value in addition to short-term gains.
Strategic Economics Vice President, Nadine Fogarty, is one of the eight urban development and design leaders from around the nation, assembled by the Rose Center to serve who will be serve as their faculty advisers.
“The 2016 Rose Fellows are dedicated to finding creative solutions to land use challenges in their cities,” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. “Through collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovative thinking, these projects will serve as models for how cities can learn from each other to make urban spaces a vibrant part of our communities.”
The work of our newest Associate, Carline Au, is mentioned in the California Planning and Development Report. The article is on redevelopment agency’s long-range property management plans.
“A couple of publicly available reports exist in the Bay Area, one on potential transit-oriented development sites and another inventorying public lands in Oakland, but they appear to have few counterparts.
The first is an inventory of Oakland public lands by Carline Au, currently an associate with Strategic Economics, Inc. Prepared as an academic paper in the UC-Berkeley planning M.A. program, her report analyzes 2,400 Oakland public properties in 15 different categories, including assets of the postredevelopment successor agency. Au calls on the city of Oakland to adopt a coordinated public lands policy as a strategy against displacement by gentrification. Her report is available from the Academia.edu Web site with free registration. The other Bay Area report is “Untapped Resources: Potential Bay Area Sites for Transit-Oriented Development,” by NPH. The report’s lead authors are Lane and Libby Seifel of Seifel Consulting, Inc., which works on post-redevelopment issues. The Great Communities Collaborative, housed at the San Francisco Foundation, supported the project. The report provides a selective catalog of properties with potential for transit-oriented development, including affordable housing, that appear on Long-Range Property Management Plans.”
Read the full article here: https://www.cp-dr.com/node/3774
September 1, 2015
Strategic EconomicsCarline Au mentioned in California Planning and Development Report
A Project the SE team is a part of – The City of Oakland announced today that it is launching a new planning process for downtown, following the passage last year of similar neighborhood redevelopment plans that are aimed at revitalizing districts — but have also led to increased concerns about gentrification and displacement.
Read on at:
September 1, 2015
Strategic EconomicsOakland Launches New Planning Process for Downtown
This weekend a few Strateconers joined the Northern California Section Chapter of the APA on a West Oakland Arts Tour. The trip included a tour of the American Steel Studios, an industrial building re-purposed into workspace for artists and entrepreneurs.
Ms. Au comes to Strategic Economics with a background in social equity in the built environment, with her most recent work contributing to the development of a public lands policy for the City of Oakland. Ms. Au’s interdisciplinary and data-driven approach guides her work, from policy design to plan implementation.
How can small towns and cities adapt to changing conditions that affect the industries, technologies, and land use patterns that help form the foundation of their local economies? EPA’s new report provides case studies of seven communities that have successfully reinvigorated their struggling economies by emphasizing existing assets and distinctive resources. The report, How Small Towns and Cities Can Use Local Assets to Rebuild Their Economies: Lessons from Successful Places, draws on these case studies to offer strategies other communities can use.
Through the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program, EPA worked directly with Kelso, Washington, to explore how these types of strategies could address the city’s economic challenges brought about by the decline of the logging and smelt fishing industries. The resulting report, Using Smart Growth Strategies to Foster Economic Development: A Kelso, Washington, Case Study, provides a tool for communities looking to create their own smart growth economic development strategy that emphasizes existing assets, and it illustrates the use of that tool in Kelso.