Issue 519 December 2012 to January 2013
After years of underbuilding, San Francisco is seeing a boom in new housing and commercial construction.
After years of underbuilding, new housing and commercial construction is booming in San Francisco. Years of work on neighborhood plans and rezoning are paying off as new construction targets transit-served areas and neighborhoods that support greater residential density.
In July, Congress passed MAP-21, a rare piece of bipartisan legislation to fund surface transportation for two years.
In July, Congress passed a rare piece of bipartisan legislation to fund surface transportation for two years. “Moving Ahead for Progress for the 21st Century” (MAP-21) provided $105 billion for the next two years to fund road repairs, mass transit and other critical repair and expansion projects. Members of both parties were quick to congratulate themselves on MAP-21, while the Department of Transportation announcement hailed it as “a milestone for the U.S. economy and the nation’s surface transportation program.” But while they did manage to forestall the immediate crisis, they shouldn’t have been so quick to pop the champagne corks.
Google has proposed a new vision for retrofitting its Mountain View campus as a dense and walkable urban place.
When Google proposed a new vision for retrofitting its Mountain View campus as a dense and walkable urban place, the city embraced the plan — but balked at Google’s request to include housing. Increasingly, we are seeing expressions of the urban future of work through specific proposals by companies interested in retrofitting the suburban corporate campus rather than moving into cities.
The director of public policy for Airbnb is a self-described “urban planner moonlighting in the tech world.”
Molly Turner, director of public policy for Airbnb, is a self-described “urban planner moonlighting in the tech world.”
San Jose's forward-thinking new general plan is a model for suburban cities looking to transform to an urban future.
San Jose has approved Envision 2040, a forward-thinking new general plan that is a model for historically suburban cities looking to transform to an urban future. Envision 2040 represents a major step in San Jose’s ambitious goal of retrofitting its auto-oriented infrastructure and suburban development patterns. At the core of Envision 2040 is its coordination of land use, transportation and greenhouse gas emissions, aligned with the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy under California's climate change bill, SB 375.
This was an exciting year for governance in California, as many hard-won reforms were finally implemented.
The year 2012 saw a record 18.2 million voters registered in California, the debut of online voter registration, new district lines thanks to the Citizens Redistricting Commission and top-two primaries where the two candidates with the most votes in any election for state office ran against each other in the general election, regardless of party affiliation.