Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area’s leading advocate for smart growth and open space protection, is sending a gift to residents in and around Dublin, CA. Green Your City’s Blueprint: A Toolkit for Climate-Friendly General Plans explains the connection between how we grow and the environment. This guide also shows how we can reduce our carbon footprint collectively. “We love our cities and believe that local economies can rebound and people can thrive if cities are designed well, with good transportation and housing choices,” said Executive Director Jeremy Madsen. “Green Your City’s Blueprint is really a guide to our best practices—and now we’ve made it available to every city and every resident who wants a better future.”
Greenbelt Alliance played a key role during the last November election in San Ramon, CA. In July 2010, the San Ramon City Council placed an urban growth boundary expansion measure known as Measure W on the November ballot. If passed, the City of San Ramon would have expanded its Urban Growth Boundary to allow development in the beautiful Tassajara Valley and the hills west of Highway 680. Greenbelt Alliance, along with a coalition of residents and other allies, was able to defeat Measure W by an astonishing 72% to 28% and keep these sensitive lands protected. Given Greenbelt Alliance’s stance on Urban Growth Boundary, many have started speculating the role it will play as Dublin moves to annex Doolan Canyon and expand toward Livermore, CA. The release of Green Your City’s Blueprint seems very well-timed.
Cities can plan for minimal environmental harm and optimal living for people. Updating a General Plan, a city’s blueprint for future development, is one of the best ways to lessen our shared footprint. Making those changes will take the leadership of the people and local elected officials.
Green Your City’s Blueprint provides local advocates with clear instructions and necessary tools to change a general plan to be more climate-friendly. The toolkit:
- Explains the basic structure of a general plan;
- Describes specific language you can ask city staff to insert in each element;
- Provides step-by-step instructions for working with city staff and leaders; and
- Gives an overview of California’s ground-breaking smart growth law, SB 375, and how it impacts city plans for the future.
Green Your City’s Blueprint benefits from the expertise and experience of Greenbelt Alliance’s long history of environmental advocacy. The organization’s past successes include the good policies that have been added to the City of San Jose’s General Plan. This reference is useful for any planning process, such as the one for El Camino Real on the Peninsula or the neighborhood plan for Broadway in the City of Oakland. The toolkit will be essential as Bay Area cities work together to form a Sustainable Communities Strategy.
“Each community can make profound reductions in greenhouse gases by reshaping development patterns over time. Green Your City’s Blueprint explains how general plans can save open space, strengthen neighborhoods, and reduce how much we drive,” said Matthew Taecker, Principal Planner for downtown Berkeley and Secretary for the California Planning Roundtable. “It is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in taking on climate change at home.”