Climate SMART Development Endorsement Program

The Program

Greenbelt Alliance’s Climate SMART Development Endorsement Program provides support for projects that advance the right kind of development in the right places. By promoting climate-smart development we can create thriving, resilient neighborhoods with ready access to transit, and housing choices for all of the Bay Area’s people. And we can continue to protect the Bay Area greenbelt from sprawl development, preserving our open spaces for generations to come.

As a trusted advocate of both open spaces and climate-smart communities, Greenbelt Alliance is in a unique position to help infill development projects move forward.

Climate SMART Principles 

The biggest threats to our region’s stability are our changing climate, and the growing number of residents burdened by rising housing costs. Our goal is to encourage more development in the Bay Area that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases our resilience to climate related risks like flood, fire, and drought. The Greenbelt Alliance Climate SMART Endorsement Program provides an essential environmental perspective on building  housing within existing communities in the Bay Area.

What is a Climate SMART Development?
  • Sustainable → Social and Environmental Health
  • Mixed → Housing, Shopping, Jobs in close proximity
  • Affordable → Equitable, Diverse, and Thriving Communities
  • Resilient → Adapting to Climate Change and Hazards
  • Transit-Oriented → Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emission
To achieve these goals we ensure every development we endorse:
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate impacts
  • Promotes equity, foster community resilience, and protect the most vulnerable people and lands. 
  • Prioritizes natural and green infrastructure solutions to enhance and protect natural resources, as well as urban environments. 
  • Preserves and restores ecological systems that enhance natural system functions, services, and quality and that reduce risk.


Learn about our endorsement guidelines and what makes them climate-smart.


Find out about the process and when to submit your project. Then, apply!

Apply Now

You Can Help

Want to help climate-smart developments move forward? Sign up to get email alerts about endorsements in your area.

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Featured Endorsements

Since the 1980’s Greenbelt Alliance has been actively promoting specific development projects and neighborhood plans to help developers who want to build the right way in the right places. The program continues to be responsive to the changing knowledge and conditions of how we build our homes and communities. In total, we have endorsed:

38 Projects

in 25 cities and towns—that’s ¼ of the Bay Area

80,000 Homes

including 21,000 since 2014

1 in 5 Homes

we’ve endorsed since 2014 is designated affordable

See all of our recently endorsed projects here.

Our Impact

Last year we were able to endorse 9 climate SMART development projects in 7 cities across the region. These developments could bring nearly 8,500 new homes to the Bay Area, of which 20% will be affordable! Here’s what their impact could have on the Bay Area:

See the full impact of our work on our timeline here.

The Greenbelt Alliance Climate SMART guidelines were developed in close partnership with our Development Endorsement Committee and Greenbelt Alliance staff, using the Climate SMART Development framework created by Gabriel Kaprielian. Our Development Endorsement Committee consists of dedicated environmentalists, urban planners, housing advocates, local government officials, and other experts.

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