The Center for Cities & Schools (CC&S) at UC Berkeley is an interdisciplinary research center, promoting high quality education as an essential component of urban and metropolitan vitality to create equitable, healthy, and sustainable cities and schools for all. Our work focuses on two interrelated questions:
- How can neighborhoods, cities, and regions promote high quality public education?
- How can public education promote healthy, vibrant neighborhoods, cities, and regions?
Working at the intersection of urban policy and public education, we utilize three strategies to advance our work: Education, Collaborative Practice, and Research. Through public forums and courses at UC Berkeley, the Center educates future and current leaders on how to improve both cities and schools through their professional work. To engage the broader community, the Center provides direct service "collaborative practice" through activities such as: professional development workshops for public school teachers, district officials, and elected leaders; and public events and symposiums highlighting key issues. To better inform practice and policy decisions, the Center conducts and disseminates scholarly research. Through these mechanisms, the Center cultivates systems change by bringing diverse actors together, growing active and informed participants, and constructing common language to leverage school and community improvement.
Opportunity-Rich Schools and Sustainable Communities: Seven Steps to Align High-Quality Education with Innovations in City and Metropolitan Planning and Development
Policies and strategies at all levels of government are increasingly associating educational outcomes with community planning and housing. Challenges remain for local officials and practitioners trying to align these policy areas, including persistent spatial inequity and rigid institutional silos. This report develops seven steps to link education and planning policy at the local level. The authors draw from a national scan of model activities, interviews with key experts and agency staff members, and the authors' experience working with local governing bodies. The report identifies practical solutions that encompass assessing the current educational environment, engaging the community, strategic planning and implementation of investment, and institutionalizing successful innovations.
Putting Schools on the Map: Linking Transit-Oriented Development, Families, and Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area
This paper examines the connections between Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and families, schools, and expanding educational opportunities for all children. This paper is the first of its kind; therefore, we take an exploratory approach to understanding and framing these interconnections. We provide a rationale for the linkages at this nexus, highlight the Ten Core Connections between TOD and public education, highlight five case studies in the Bay Area, and make recommendations for enhancing city-school collaboration in TOD.
- 1 supplemental PDF
California’s K-12 Educational Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging the State’s Role for Quality School Facilities in Sustainable Communities
In California’s K-12 Educational Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging the State’s Role for Quality School Facilities in Sustainable Communities, the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Cities & Schools provides an analysis of the state’s K-12 infrastructure policies, regulations, and funding patterns. Findings reveal the need to greatly refine school facilities planning and funding policies and practices to promote sound, efficient, and goal-oriented decision making at state and local levels. The recommendations reenvision the state’s role in K-12 infrastructure as one of appropriately supporting educational outcomes and contributing to more sustainable communities through a framework of public infrastructure best practices for sound planning, effective management, adequate and equitable funding, and appropriate oversight. The recommendations build on those put forth in recent California Department of Education (CDE) reports, including Schools of the Future (2011), Blueprint for Great Schools (2011), and Re-Visioning School Facilities for the 21st Century (2009), and lay out a vision, policy framework, and implementation plan to equitably and efficiently improve learning environments for California’s 6 million students.
- 1 supplemental PDF