A call to embrace smart growth

The East Bay Express challenges environmentalists to support smart growth in Berkeley and Oakland, citing Grow Smart Bay Area’s findings:

“Global warming is changing far more than just the climate. It’s altering the way environmentalists view development. For years, city dwellers who consider themselves to be eco-conscious have used environmental laws and arcane zoning rules to block new home construction, especially apartments and condominiums. In the inner East Bay, liberals have justified their actions by railing against gentrification and portraying developers as profiteers. But the lack of urban growth in Berkeley and in parts of Oakland during the past few decades also has contributed to suburban sprawl and long commutes. And all those freeways choked with cars are now the single biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

. . .

Greenbelt Alliance, an environmental group that has been fighting suburban sprawl for decades, recently pinpointed the inner East Bay as one of the region’s top potential growth areas. In a report released last month, ‘Grow Smart Bay Area,’ the alliance estimated that the inner East Bay, west of the hills, could accommodate at least 106,000 new housing units by 2035. The group based its estimate on data from the Association of Bay Area Governments and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development. ‘The truth is we just can’t afford suburban sprawl anymore,’ explained Greenbelt Alliance’s Elizabeth Stampe. ‘It just puts more cars on the roads, and adds to greenhouse gases.’ ”

Read the complete article from the East Bay Express here.

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