The Institute of Urban and Regional Development, a campuswide organized research unit, conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research and practical work that helps scholars and students understand the dynamics of communities, cities and regions while informing public policy at the local, state and national levels.
The Institute provides a research home and support to individual faculty and graduate students who initiate their own projects or collaborate on multidisciplinary programs. The Institute's Community Partnerships Office comprises a significant institutional program of partnership with communities and public and nonprofit agencies in the Bay Area to assist them with research, evaluations, conferences, workshops, internships and innovative planning and design.
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The Center for Community Innovation is assessing both the social and individual benefits of second units as well as their potential to accommodate future housing needs in the East Bay.
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Berg oversees the City of Santa Cruz’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and Inclusionary Housing Program as well as the HUD CDBG and HOME Programs. In 2003 Berg developed Santa Cruz’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Program, which won national APA, AI and EPA awards.
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California will need an unprecedented amount of new housing construction -— more than 200,000 units per year through 2020 -- if it is to accommodate projected population and household growth and still be reasonably affordable. California will need more suburban housing, more infill housing, more ownership housing, more rental housing, more affordable housing, more senior housing, and more family housing. California will also need more diverse housing, and more diverse neighborhoods. California's high land and construction costs, coupled with the cumbersome and open-ended nature of the local entitlements process, have served to discourage innovative land planning, site design, and building design. While there are few intrinsic limitations to meeting California's future housing needs, the core of the existing housing production system is too fragmented and haphazard to produce the volume and quality of housing needed. This applies to the laws and procedures that govern housing development, the funding and lending programs, and the myriad public, private, and non-profit organizations that produce and operate housing in California. If indeed California is to remain a state where people from all backgrounds and walks of life are able to pursue the American dream of homeownership and secure housing tenure, then substantial investment and innovation in housing development policy, financing, and planning will be required.
Over seven weeks in the East Bay Business Times, the Work Force Housing Committee, sponsored by the Business Times, published its recommendations for alleviating the East Bay’s shortage of affordable housing. The committee’s members included many of the Bay Area’s top experts on housing policy. In the final installment of the series on March 5, 2004, the committee summarized its findings in 10 key recommendations. The committee determined that these steps would do the most to eliminate obstacles to the construction of affordable housing in the East Bay and throughout California. Also included in the report are the committee’s weekly commentaries exploring the origins and potential solutions to the housing affordability crisis.
Street-facing Dwelling Units and Livability: The Impacts of Emerging Building Types in Vancouver's New High-density Residential Neighbourhoods
The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, is building new high-density residential neighborhoods around its downtown. Working within the context of large-scale corporate development projects, public sector planners are proactively shaping development to be dense but also conform to notions of livability that derive from traditional urbanism, such as ‘eyes on the street’ and pedestrian scale. Design guidelines have resulted in new building types that integrate ground-floor townhouses into very large buildings. This study analyzed how the new embedded townhouse forms are contributing to life on the street and neighborhood livability, using environmental measurements, behavior observations, and surveys. The findings conclude that the embedded townhouses do contribute to livability, although other aspects of the building types and neighborhoods may pose concerns.
Forecasting and Mitigating Future Urban Encroachment Adjacent to California Military Installations: A Spatial Approach
California is home to 64 military facilities, more than any other state. All four military service branches, in addition to the US Coast Guard, operate facilities in California. More than half of California's military facilities are located within, at the edge of, or within a stone's throw of major metropolitan areas.
California is also home to more than 34 million people, most of whom live in metropolitan areas. By 2020, the California Department of Finance projects, California's population will grow to 45 million. If past trends continue, the majority of this growth will occur at the edges of existing metropolitan areas, nearby or adjacent to active military facilities.
Many military facilities conduct operations that extend beyond their perimeter boundaries and generate significant aircraft and artillery noise. As California's population grows, the number of people living near military facilities and impacted by facility operations will also grow.
Without some degree of forward planning to reconcile the space needs of California's growing population with the operational needs of the military, the encroachment of urban growth on California military installations may significantly compromise the presence, functions, and missions of the military in California.
This report provides information regarding the potential encroachment effects of projected population growth and urban development on California military installations. It also presents and evaluates alternative planning and policy approaches for dealing with current and projected encroachment issues. Finally, it develops a web-enabled spatial database for use by civilian land use planners and military operations planners in analyzing encroachment issues and undertaking future encroachment zone studies.
The California water policy arena has been a notoriously conflictual environment, in which parties frequently were at odds with one another on multiple fronts simultaneously, fighting one another through the regulatory and resource management agencies, the courts, Congress and the state legislature, and the voters. Today, however, these diverse parties are engaging in collaborative dialogues, focusing on joint problem solving rather than mutual destruction and, more often than not, going to the legislative bodies and voters with one voice in seeking remedies to their problems.
These collaborative dialogues have produced robust and lasting outcomes that extend well beyond the resolution of specific disputes. Together, these and other examples demonstrate how such dialogues have profoundly transformed policy making practices, as well as the way in which day-to-day decisions about on-the-ground management and operations are made.
When the world is viewed as a complex system, in which learning, feedback, and adaptations take place through highly linked, self-organizing networks -- as opposed to a mechanistic model of inputs and outputs -- it's easier to understand how collaborative dialogue processes function and produce a wide variety of types of results. Evaluation methods based on a mechanistic world view will fail to identify many of the most important results of these processes. If evaluation is approached as it has been done traditionally, focusing first and foremost on whether agreements were obtained and how strong the consensus was, the truly important results of these processes will be missed, including the building of social and political capital, the learning and change, the development of high quality information, new and innovative ideas, new institutions and practices that are adaptive and flexible, and the cascade of changes in attitudes, behaviors, and actions.
The challenge now is to approach the evaluation task from a complex systems perspective and to identify and seek to develop a robust understanding of the significance of the first-, second-, and third-order outcomes of these processes in the contexts in which they occur. Process participants themselves may be focused on agreements and not recognize the significance of some of these outcomes until much later. As the authors have discovered, first- and some second-order outcomes, such as the development of social and political capital and high-quality, trusted information, begin to occur during the collaborative dialogue process. Other second- and third-order outcomes most often emerge after the reaching of a formal agreement. And although a process may have finished in a formal sense, it can continue to produce results as the changes in attitudes and practices continue to propagate through the system. In evaluating how well the processes are working, frameworks must be developed that are flexible and allow incorporation of ongoing learning and adaptation as new and different results emerge.
This study examines the potential for individuals trapped in dead-end jobs in the service economy to cross the Digital Divide into jobs in the knowledge economy. The conventional wisdom is that the lack of human capital entraps workers in dead-end jobs, unable to capitalize on the demand for high-skilled labor in an increasingly networked -- and exclusive -- society. Other approaches focus on the demand side, suggesting that information technology (IT) itself acts to exacerbate societal divisions and ultimately income inequality, particularly in high-tech regions. IT not only drives the bifurcation of the economy into high-end knowledge analyst and low-skill service jobs, but also creates a new networked system of economic organization that has few access points for those who are "switched off." The implication is that as globalization accelerates and IT jobs shift offshore, these patterns of bifurcation, inequality, and job inaccessibility will only grow worse.
The author argues instead that a low-wage future is not inevitable for disadvantaged groups. The downskilling of IT work, along with the rise of workforce intermediaries, creates an opportunity to move large numbers of low-wage workers into jobs with a career ladder, particularly at the peak of the business cycle. Although some entry-level work is disappearing offshore, the economy still offers opportunities for jobseekers with little college education to work in IT. Nonprofit training programs in the "second-chance" employment and training system play an important role in making the transition possible for those whom the educational system has failed. The majority of training program graduates remain in IT four years later, with a clear career trajectory ahead.
This report reviews transit-linked development in over two dozen U.S. cities, the history of joint development, and the evolving role of the Federal Transit Administration (formerly the Urban Mass Transit Administration). The report attempts to classify and catalogue existing joint-development projects by size, type, location, and year of completion. Included as an appendix are brief descriptions of the more than one hundred existing U.S. joint-development projects. An analysis was made on the financial impact joint development has had on the capital budgets of transit agencies that pursue joint development and the policy framework in which it occurs.
In addition, the study presents the results of a survey of transit officials responsible for negotiating joint development agreements and their appraisal of its effect on their agency's operating and financial performance as well as other goals.
Finally, the study uses quasi-experimental and multi-regression analysis to measure the effects of joint development and transit service on commercial real estate market performance indicators such as office rents, office absorption rates, and vacancy rates. From the transit side, a similar analysis was done to measure the effects of joint development on system ridership and revenues. These analyses show that transit service and presence of joint development are statistically correlated with unique benefits to the real estate market, namely higher rents, lower vacancy rates, and faster absorption rates.
The study concludes with an assessment of the institutional and market conditions necessary for successful joint development and recommendations to FTA for promoting and facilitating local joint-development efforts.