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 one of our most popular sessions was on The Environmental Case for Housing. During this webinar, our Executive Director, Amanda Brown-Stevens spoke with Dr. Karen Chapple, Director of the School of Cities, Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, and Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley about how cities can accommodate more housing while also conserving valuable lands that provide ecosystem services and the resources we need to adapt to climate change.

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 Downtown Livermore Apartments, resulted in the approval of the project’s 130, 100% affordable new homes. This decision followed a public meeting that spanned two days, after which the Livermore City Council unanimously approved the affordable housing community by Eden Housing. 

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 (MTC) and the Associations of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) 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. After four years of research and planning work, MTC and ABAG’s Executive Board unanimously adopted Plan Bay Area 2050A coalition of environmental stakeholders led by Greenbelt Alliance, Save the Bay and TOGETHER Bay Area played a big role in the development of Plan Bay Area 2050, offering our priorities for the environmental section of the Blueprint, which resulted in the boldest version of Play Bay Area we’ve ever seen.

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

Jordan Grimes

SB423: Critical Legislation to Address Our Housing and Climate Crises

Since the 1970s, Greenbelt Alliance has recognized that shifting our existing harmful land use patterns from exurban sprawl to urban infill is essential to preserving open space, protecting habitat and biodiversity, and providing enough housing for those who want to call the Bay Area home.   Unfortunately, significant barriers to infill housing have persisted and California’s

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CC Ciraolo

“If You Want Something Done, Turn to the Powerful Women:” Sonoma County Organization Empowers Latinx Community

Latino Service Providers is a Greenbelt Alliance partner and we are honored to spotlight the women-led organization with a special interview this Women’s History Month. Alayza Cervantes found her passion to serve the Latino community while studying psychology and Chicano Studies at UC Davis. Born in Sonoma County as a first generation Mexican American, she

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Greenbelt Alliance

Seven Intersectional Environmental Organizations You Should Support this Black History Month (And Always)

We already know that California is on the frontline of the climate crisis. But we can’t talk about climate change without recognizing that Black communities and communities of color are being hit by climate hazards harder than others. The Greenlining Institute defines frontline communities as “communities—including people of color, immigrants, low-income individuals, people with disabilities,

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Karen Santos Rosenberg

Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed: La Vista Residential

We are thrilled that the Hayward City Council approved the La Vista Residential Project by Eden Housing and The Pacific Companies’ (TPC)! After careful review, Greenbelt Alliance endorsed the proposed La Vista Residential Project, an infill and mixed-use development that will feature 100% affordable housing, a new school, and a new public park.  Being 100%

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Karen Santos Rosenberg

Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed: 1900 Diamond St.

Update: We are thrilled that the San Francisco Planning Commission approved Glen Park’s 1900 Diamond Street project with a 7-0 vote! This is a key milestone to providing more housing in the community as well as funding for affordable homes in the city. Greenbelt Alliance is excited to officially endorse On Diamond’s 1900 Diamond St.

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Karen Santos Rosenberg

Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed: Mallard Pointe

Greenbelt Alliance is excited to officially endorse the Mallard Pointe development project, in the North Bay city of Belvedere. This new proposal would redevelop a current site, which includes 22 homes originally constructed in 1951 that are not in compliance with current building and fire codes and is under threat of sea level rise. The

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