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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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.

Cover page of The Future of Shrinking Cities: Problems, Patterns and Strategies of Urban Transformation in a Global Context

The Future of Shrinking Cities: Problems, Patterns and Strategies of Urban Transformation in a Global Context


This publication is the outcome of a symposium held at UC Berkeley in February 2007, organized by the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, UC Berkeley. It brought together urban and regional planners, architects, engineers, developers, artists, and academics to examine the perspectives of a largely underrepresented topic: shrinking cities.

The Future of Shrinking Cities: Problems, Patterns, and Strategies of Urban Transformation in a Global Context presents research carried out under the aegis of the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCiRN) and – in addition – selected case studies from the United States. The purpose of the publication is to encourage and inform discussion to improve the quality of life in shrinking cities. The authors identify and examine critical projects and issues in shrinking cities and present lessons learned from relevant projects and experiences in the US and abroad. The comparative approach to shrinking cities, incorporating a wide range of case studies in order to widen the debate, is both unique and innovative.

The shrinking city phenomenon is a multidimensional process, comprising cities, parts of cities, or entire metropolitan areas that have experienced dramatic decline in their economic and social bases. Thus, urban shrinkage is often a challenge on the wide scale of metropolitan regions and requires policy-makers to redefine traditional paths of regional governance. Urban decline and the loss of employment opportunities are closely linked in a downward spiral, leading to an out-migration of population.

The joint work places shrinking cities in a global perspective, setting the context for in-depth comparisons of selected cities considering specific social, economic, environmental, cultural, and land-use issues. Especially in the United States, planning practice is to a large extent concentrated on either managing urban growth or tackling redevelopment in a fragmented – not a regional – way, despite the fact that in many metropolitan regions urban shrinkage reaches beyond individual cities. In this regard, the papers will help initiate a redefinition of regional governance in the U.S. and also in the other participating countries via comparative research on shrinking cities.

Karina Pallagst et al (eds.) With contributions by Thorsten Wiechmann, Emmanuèle Cunningham-Sabot, Sylvie Fol, Cristina Martinez-Fernandez, Chung-Tong Wu, Hans Harms, Sergio Moraes, Robert Beauregard, Ivonne Audirac, Karina Pallagst, David Leadbeater, Helen Mulligan, Jasmin Aber, Jose Vargas, Rollin Stanley, Teresa Gillotti, Daniel Kildee, Joseph Schilling, Gabi Troeger-Weiß and Hans-Jörg Domhardt.

Cover page of Promising Futures: Workforce Development and Upward Mobility in Information Technology

Promising Futures: Workforce Development and Upward Mobility in Information Technology


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.

Cover page of Adaptive Transit: Enhancing Suburban Transit Services

Adaptive Transit: Enhancing Suburban Transit Services


Suburbia largely remains hostile territory for public transit in America and, indeed, much of the developed world. Transit’s market share of every type of trip is steadily eroding outside of central cities virtually the world over. With trip origins and destinations spread all over the map, traditional fixed-route, fixed-schedule, radially oriented transit services are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the private automobile.

Yet against this backdrop, some metropolitan areas both in the United States and abroad have responded to low-density development patterns by designing more flexible, market-responsive forms of mass transit. Many strategies aim to eliminate, or at least marginalize, what is the scourge of suburban transit services worldwide – the transfer.

This study examines Adaptive Transit as a promising approach toward better serving suburban markets. Initially, Adaptive Transit is defined and classified. Case studies from both the United States and abroad are then used to examine experiences across ten different forms of Adaptive Transit. "Best case" examples are cited, where possible. In addition to describing the rationales and service features of different forms of Adaptive Transit, case reviews focus on evaluating performance impacts, particularly with reference to "control cases" for winch traditional suburban services, in otherwise comparable settings, remain m place. Moreover, attention is given to matters of implementation. In most cases, the "software" (i.e., public policies) that accompanied the "hardware" (i.e., technologies and service innovations) was every bit important in achieving success.

Cover page of Development and Pilot Application of the California Urban and Biodiversity Analysis (CURBA) Model

Development and Pilot Application of the California Urban and Biodiversity Analysis (CURBA) Model


The California Urban and Biodiversity Analysis (CURBA) model was developed as a tool to help urban planners to evaluate the possible effects of alternative urban growth patterns and policies on biodiversity and natural habitat quality. CURBA can help direct urban growth while promoting environmental and ecological quality.

Cover page of Traditional Neighborhood Shopping Districts: Patterns of Use and Modes of Access

Traditional Neighborhood Shopping Districts: Patterns of Use and Modes of Access


This dissertation examines patterns of usage and modes of access to traditional shopping districts. Environmentalists and designers have advocated a return to “traditional neighborhood development,” with higher densities, mixed uses, pedestrian amenities and transit service, to reduce auto dependence for shopping and other trips. Critics have countered that proximity only partly explains shopping destination and mode choice, but draw their evidence mostly from auto-dominated shopping centers, not traditional ones. Whether shopping districts predominantly serve local residents and support trip reduction has remained to be examined.

This dissertation examines customer characteristics, patterns of use, and modes of access in six traditional shopping areas in the Oakland-Berkeley, California, area. The six districts are surrounded by middle class, moderately dense residential neighborhoods with transit service and pedestrian access consonant with neo-traditional design. They vary in scale and mix of uses across the range proposed by neo-traditional designers.

Surveys, counts, and observations reveal that all six shopping areas draw a mix of residents and non-residents. The non-residents’ share increases with the scale of the shopping area and the share of comparison shopping. Distance is the most important factor in the mode choice to these shopping areas; most non-residents drive, whereas only half the residents do. Younger customers and those with few or no autos walk more than average. Those shopping for groceries or making multiple stops for specialty food typically drive. Non-resident shoppers are more likely to purchase comparison goods than residents. Both groups are attracted by specialty foods.

Trip generation rates in the six shopping areas are higher than conventional methods predict, but auto shares are much lower. The result is parking demand close to conventional estimates.

The dissertation reveals conflicts among the needs of residents, the needs of shopping districts, and traffic mitigation objectives. Many uses that serve residents and add interest and vitality to traditional shopping areas also attract a high share of non-residents, mostly by car. Trip generation can be very high, even though the auto share is relatively low. If other neo-traditional shopping districts follow suit, their benefits will stem more convenience than from trip reduction per se.

Cover page of Environmental Quality of Multiple Roadway Boulevards

Environmental Quality of Multiple Roadway Boulevards


Transportation and land use planners generally agree that high traffic volumes are incompatible with a good residential street. Danger to pedestrians and bicyclists and emissions from traffic, such as high noise levels and poor air quality, are the obvious reasons. In addition, traffic is also a barrier to social interaction. Thus, we studied the physical and traffic characteristics of a total of nine streets, along with resident responses to a questionnaire survey. This is a report on the study design and our findings.

Cover page of Sustainable Urban Development: A Literature Review and Analysis

Sustainable Urban Development: A Literature Review and Analysis


This report reviews current literature on sustainable development and proposes a framework for applying this concept to city and regional planning. It begins by exploring interpretations of the concept of sustainability itself, next looks at some urban planning traditions toward an urban planning framework that can incorporate this concept. The following definition of sustainable urban development is proposed:

Sustainable urban development seeks to create cities and towns that improve the long-term health of the planet’s human and ecological systems.

Means to achieve this objective include protecting and restoring natural ecosystems in urban areas, creating community environments that nurture human potential, using land and resources wisely, and facilitating human lifestyles that contribute to global sustainability.

The author argues that sustainable urban development is indeed possible if 1) some degree of consensus is reached on values that can underlie it, 2) methods are developed to evaluate progress towards or away from sustainability, 3) specific policies, designs and programs are developed to implement sustainable urban development based on these values and yardsticks, and 4) the necessary political organizing, leadership development, and public education can be carried out.

Cover page of Rail Access Modes and Catchment Areas for the BART System

Rail Access Modes and Catchment Areas for the BART System


To date, far more research has been conducted on the effects of the built environment on transit demand along mainline corridors than in the catchment zones surrounding transit stops. Pushkarev and Zupan (1977), for example, correlated transit ridership for the line-haul segment of trips as a function of residential densities, distance to downtown, and size of downtown; however, they ignored how access trips to transit stops were influenced by such factors. Seminal work by Meyer, Kain, and Wohl (1965) studied factors influencing bus and rail transit demand for three segments of trips – residential collection – distribution, line-haul, and downtown circulator – however, their work did not examine the direct effects of land-use variables. For example, in the case of access trips from home to rail stations, or what they call the residential collection-distribution segment, the number of “trip origins per city block” was used as the predictor of access demand. Standard trip generation rates were used to directly estimate access demand.

As part of the BART@20 study, this report studies the influence of the built environment on two aspects of transit demand: (1) modes of access to and from rail stations; and (2) the sizes and shapes of the ridership catchment areas. Variations in both modes of access and catchment area sizes are studied for different classes of stations, defined mainly in terms of the land-use environment. Also, both descriptive statistics and analytical models (ANOVA and regression) are used for examining these relationships.

Cover page of BART@20: Land Use and Development Impacts

BART@20: Land Use and Development Impacts


This purpose of this report is to provide a 20-year perspective into the land use impacts of BART. The analysis concentrates on historical changes in private residential and non-residential (e.g., commercial, industrial, office) land development for a sample of stations on various segments of the BART system. This report is admittedly not all encompassing. Other reports from the BART at 20 study are documenting BART’s impacts on residential values, population and employment growth, and other indicators of development trends. This report concentrates on documenting land use changes around specific stations, and, from these results, generalizing about the land use impacts of BART among classes of stations. For a sample of stations, differences in land use changes around BART stations and matched pairs of nearby freeway interchanges are also compared. Models are also presented that identify factors associated with station-area land-use changes. The report concludes by merging the results of individual station-area studies, and drawing policy inferences from these findings.

Cover page of Rail Transit Investments, Real Estate Values, and Land Use Change: A Comparative Analysis of Five California Rail Transit Systems

Rail Transit Investments, Real Estate Values, and Land Use Change: A Comparative Analysis of Five California Rail Transit Systems


Transportation systems are the glue that binds together American cities. From the first boulevard, through the horse-drawn streetcars of the 19th Century, through the electric trolleys of the early 1990s, to the freeways of the post-World War II era, transportation investments have long played a defining role in guiding the growth and development of metropolitan areas. What is today called the “transportation-land use connection” has been the object of study by geographers and economists for more than 150 years, and the focus of attention for developers and speculators for even longer.

This report explores the transit-land use connection from the transit side. Drawing on data for five urban rail transit systems here in California (BART, CalTrain, Sacramento Light Rail, the San Diego Trolley, and Santa Clara Light Rail), it uses statistical models to clarify the relationships between transit investments, land uses, and property values. Four types of transit-land use/ property value relationships are considered:

- Relationships between rail transit investments and single-family home prices;

- Relationships between rail transit investments and commercial property values;

- Relationships between rail transit investments and station area land use changes; and,

- Relationships between rail transit investments and metropolitan-scale land use changes

In the policy context, this report responds to policy questions. The first is fiscal in nature; the second relates to issues of development policy.