GLRPPR: Sector Resources: Documents: Removing the Roadblocks: How to Make Sustainable Development Happen Now
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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Removing the Roadblocks: How to Make Sustainable Development Happen Now

Removing the Roadblocks: How to Make Sustainable Development Happen Now

Business-as-usual real estate development in California has resulted in crushing traffic, fewer housing options, loss of open space and agricultural land, and significant air pollution, including the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Traffic alone costs Californians hours each year of lost time, frustration, and wasted fuel. Sustainable development represents the solution. This development is typified by compact, walkable communities located near transit, jobs and services. California already has examples, such as downtown Berkeley and Los Angeles, neighborhoods in San Francisco, Pasadena and San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, to name a few. Many residents there have the option of walking to services (such as stores and schools), jobs, and major public transit stops. And the diverse nature of housing means grown children can live near parents, empty-nesters can downsize within their communities, and residents of diverse incomes can live near each other. Despite the demand for these neighborhoods, however, local land use policies often prevent developers from building them. To identify solutions, a group of leading developers of sustainable real estate projects, along with California Attorney General Jerry Brown, met at the UCLA School of Law in March 2009. The gathering resulted in two major findings. First, the group identified the four most critical roadblocks to sustainable development. Second, the group offered specific solutions to these barriers. Based on the discussion, this paper presents for the first time a comprehensive blueprint for how policy makers and industry leaders can make sustainable development more widespread and easier to build. It recommends a series of immediate and longer-term actions these leaders must take to remove the sustainable development roadblocks. The most critical of these recommendations is that local governments develop comprehensive neighborhood plans for sustainable development. State and federal leaders must support local governments in this effort with financial assistance and regulatory reform.


Berkeley Law/UCLA Law

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
November 2011

Associated Sectors:


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