Climate SMART Development

Creating Sustainable, Mixed, Affordable, Resilient, Transit-Oriented Communities

The Challenge: The Bay Area lacks the local support to make climate-smart development happen which would address the housing crisis and prepare for climate change in an equitable way.
The Solution: Greenbelt Alliance is advocating for climate SMART development––Sustainable, Mixed, Affordable, Resilient, Transit-oriented––to create resilient communities in balance with nature for current and future residents. Here’s our approach…

We’ll promote equitable, climate resilience through Sustainable, Mixed, Affordable, Resilient, Transit-Oriented development within existing urban and suburban areas.


Educate the Bay Area on climate SMART development criteria that will meet community needs for more housing choices while reducing emissions and building resilience. We regularly host webinars that provide an educational platform, and recently had one on The Value of Public Space with Ghigo DiTommaso, Director and Urban Designer at Gehl. During this webinar, our Executive Director, Amanda Brown-Stevens and Ghigo explored how our relationship to public space has changed due to COVID-19 and discussed ways we can build a more equitable future in the Bay Area. 

Advocate for the right kinds of land-use policies that prioritize affordable, low-emission, climate-resilient development in the right places that avoid climate hazard areas. Our endorsement and advocacy of the Terraces of Lafayette project in Lafayette, CA lead to a huge win for affordable housing in the Bay Area. First proposed in 2011, this project went through 105 meetings. With COVID-19 making public participation challenging, we partnered with our friends at YIMBY Action to host public comment parties on Slack during crucial City meetings—ensuring the community’s voice was heard during the decision making process. It was through advocacy efforts like this, along with dedicated outreach and community support, that the Terraces of Lafayette finally got approved!

Collaborate with local leaders to bolster civic engagement that ensures equitable regional planning efforts that foster community resilience, social equity and climate justice outcomes at the local level. One way we’ve done this is by being deeply involved in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Plan Bay Area project, an ongoing process that weaves together transportation, housing, economic and environmental strategies, alongside an expanded set of growth geographies, to advance critical climate and equity goals. Recently, Plan Bay Area released their Final Blueprint, the first step toward developing Plan Bay Area 2050. A coalition of environmental stakeholders led by Greenbelt Alliance, Save the Bay and TOGETHER Bay Area assessed the Final Blueprint, offering our priorities for the environmental section of the Blueprint in order for it to be more robust and responsive to today’s challenges.

Our projects

Endorsement Program

Since the 1980’s Greenbelt Alliance has been actively promoting specific development projects and neighborhood plans through our endorsement program to show our support for development that creates resilient communities in balance with nature for current and future residents. Get more details about our Climate SMART Development Endorsement Program, including specifics about the program, guidelines, and details on how to get a project endorsed!


Climate SMART Advocacy

We are taking action at the local, regional, and state levels by participating in housing strategy and parking reform discussions, general plan updates, climate action plans, and Plan Bay Area to impact policy and advocate for climate SMART actions. And we're working across throughout Bay Area communities to engage the people who live here—ensuring that their voices are heard and reflected in the policies that directly impact their lives and their future.


Featured Endorsements

Zoe Siegel

Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed: Terraces of Lafayette

Update: Update: After 105 meetings over the course of a decade, the Terraces of Lafayette was approved by the Lafayette City Council at 12:45 a.m. on Monday, August 24. First proposed in 2011, this development will provide 315 homes with 63 allocated affordable for low-income residents. This project will make tremendous strides in furthering Lafayette’s

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CityWalk Bishop Ranch
Alison Gibson

Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed: CityWalk Bishop Ranch Mixed-Use Master Plan

Update: On September 8, the Bishop Ranch CityWalk Master Plan appeal was denied and the San Ramon City Council approved the project. We are thrilled that the Master Plan is moving forward—providing 4,500 (675 affordable) new homes to the Bay Area! Greenbelt Alliance is pleased to endorse the CityWalk Bishop Ranch Mixed-Use Master Plan in

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Zoe Siegel

Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed: Downtown San Mateo Opportunity Sites

Update: After the San Mateo City Council unanimously approved the “Downtown San Mateo Opportunity Sites” project on August 17th, 2020, it’s now expected to begin construction later in 2021. The development has been recently renamed Kiku Crossing. Kiku is the Japanese word for the flower Chrysanthemum, in a nod to the Japanese immigrant community in

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