Thriving Neighborhoods Initiative

Many of us live in the Bay Area because of its great neighborhoods. We love the combination of lively streets, active parks, great food, and diversity of residents. Yet, we need more choices—new stores, better transportation options, bike lanes, libraries, and local restaurants—to enjoy living in the places we love. And we need to make sure that improvements don’t ignore existing residents.

Greenbelt Alliance concentrates on key geographic areas to ensure that plans, policies, and developments come together in the right way to create thriving neighborhoods. We encourage cities and counties to adopt blueprints that serve as a foundation for thriving communities. We then bring these visionary plans to life by encouraging construction of homes, parks, bike lanes, and other features to help neighborhoods flourish. We also advocate for increased funding to support critical infrastructure such as utilities, water pipes, transportation, and urban parks. Most importantly, we build coalitions of active, enthusiastic community members who rally around changes that make a positive difference in our neighborhoods. We help those same folks speak up to stop changes that take our communities backward.

We’ll achieve it by:

  • Creating visionary, complete plans for Bay Area cities and neighborhoods, through our efforts to influence strategic, selected land-use plans in key areas informed by a wide-range of stakeholders engaged in planning processes;
  • Ensuring visionary plans become reality as we encourage adoption of specific policies and act as a watchdog to ensure plans are fully upheld;
  • Supporting developments that help the region make progress toward a future consistent with Greenbelt Alliance’s vision.

We’ll know we’ve achieved it when:

  • More Bay Area neighborhoods are “complete neighborhoods” with a mix of homes, jobs, shops, parks, schools, and other services that meet the needs of new and existing residents;
  • Neighborhood development respects and enhances the area’s cultural and historic traditions;
  • Neighborhood development is designed to improve the health of new and existing residents;
  • More land-use and related decision-making processes authentically engage a diverse range of residents—especially those who are typically under-engaged

Thriving Neighborhoods Initiative News


Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014     

Downtown Concord plan is a mixed bag

On June 24, the City of Concord adopted the Downtown Specific Plan, which will direct short- and long-term development in downtown Concord. While the plan contains many features that could generate exciting new opportunities, it also has some glaring omissions. Continue reading

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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014     

Oakland just committed to growing smarter

Last night, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved the Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan, which calls for 1,800 new homes—many of which will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents—along Oakland’s busiest transit corridor. Continue reading

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Tuesday, May 27th, 2014     

A conversation with Jeff Speck

On May 21, Greenbelt Alliance had the pleasure of hosting renowned city planner, urban designer, and author Jeff Speck in the Bay Area and ask him some questions. Here are the highlights from our conversation. Continue reading

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