2016 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

California’s 2016 legislative session ended on September 30th with many successes for Greenbelt Alliance’s endorsements, but also with some disappointments. Here’s an overview: Signed Into Law AB 2031 (Bonta) allows cities to issue bonds for construction of new affordable homes based on the revenue stream of “boomerang funds,” which are funds received by cities and counties after the dissolution of redevelopment. This allows cities to build more homes faster to address the… Read More

What Is A Greenbelt?

What is a greenbelt? Look at the Contra Costa County hills for an example.

The Bay Area’s 3.6 million-acre greenbelt provides fresh food, clean air and water, and recreation. Greenbelt Alliance protects these lands. But exactly what is a greenbelt?

What Is Smart Growth?

What is Smart Growth? A recipe for thriving cities and towns.Photo: Clint Sharp via Flickr

Smart growth can make our region more climate-friendly, affordable, and economically competitive, while protecting our farms, forests, and watersheds.

Being Smarter About Land Use Can Help Fight Against Drought

By now, you would have to have been living under a very dry rock to not know the things we should all be doing to save water — let your lawn go brown, wash your car less, take fewer and shorter showers, flush less if you dare. But there is one thing that cities and counties across the Bay Area and around California can do to save water that has not gotten a lot of attention–be smart about land use. For three reasons, smart decisions about how communities grow and develop are also smart water decisions.

Sunnyvale’s Plan for El Camino Real

This summer, the City of Sunnyvale kicked off its El Camino Real Corridor Plan update, an opportunity to improve upon an award-winning plan and to create a more vibrant neighborhood along the corridor.

Plan Bay Area: A Smart Investment for Our Future

Photo: David Yu via Flickr

Randal O’Toole—a Cato Institute fellow and avowed opponent of smart growth—recently wrote a diatribe against Plan Bay Area in Forbes. O’Toole wants to impose his growth vision on our region, which calls for opening the floodgates for sprawl development on natural and agricultural lands. Here’s our response.

Three of the Coolest Women in Sunnyvale

The women of Sunnyvale Cool (from left to right: Margaret, Barbara, and Janani)

Profound change often comes at the hands of volunteers. In Sunnyvale, the historic block of Murphy Avenue by the Caltrain station remains a charming, bustling shopping and dining district due to the tireless efforts of one such woman, Ann Hines. Today, her legacy lives on through a committed group of environmental advocates who call themselves Sunnyvale Cool.

Holy Urban Greening, Batman!

Urban Greening Priority Conservation Areas are an investment in our neighborhoods’ natural resources that will create healthier environments for humans and wildlife while also cutting long-term costs and increasing land value.

How Santa Clara County Is Protecting Our Most Valuable Resource—Water

photo Gordon Shukwit via Flickr

Healthy Bay Area watersheds are fundamental to safeguarding California’s limited water resources, now under increasing strain from development and climate change. The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages an integrated water resources system that keeps our creeks and ecosystems healthy for nearly 2 million residents.

Money Talks: The value of Santa Clara County open space

How do you put a value on the benefits that our natural and agricultural lands provide? For the first time ever, Santa Clara County has calculated the economic value of its natural capital. Spoiler alert: it’s worth a lot.