Northwest [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Recently, Urban Environmentalists submitted a petition, signed by more than 79 San Francisco residents, to the San Francisco Department of the Environment urging them to consider dense infill development as a mitigation strategy in responding to the Board of Supervisor’s declaration of a Climate Emergency. Now, we are pleased to announce that the Department has released their 2030 emissions reductions strategic plan. The document outlines seven Strategic Priorities and their associated emissions reductions, which includes priorities that Urban Environmentalists strongly support, such as building electrification and mode shifting. Specifically, we applaud the following goal scenario assumed in the report:
By 2030, 80% of all trips are taken by walking, biking, or transit.
Urban Environmentalists was also pleased to see that the Department is considering the connection between density and a robust, multimodal public transportation system.
Enhancing biking, walking, and transit systems is part of a larger strategy to make transportation more accessible and affordable for all. These modes also encourage denser and more affordable development, while improving community cohesion.
However, Urban Environmentalists believes that San Francisco should also consider the reductions in global emissions that the Strategic Priorities would cause, in place of focusing on reducing the emissions of existing residents. A city with carbon-free electricity, a mild climate, and low per capita vehicle use is a city that should welcome new residents and work diligently to prevent its existing residents from being displaced to suburbs with a higher carbon footprint. For example, a recent UC Berkeley study found that urban infill in San Francisco would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions more than any other single measure. 
We look forward to voicing our support for components of the strategic plan and continuing to advocate for new, dense, energy-efficient housing in San Francisco.
- Robert Spragg
 California Local Government Climate Policy Tool (Adapted from Jones et al. 2018)
Our mission is to address the climate and inequality crises by transforming cities and towns into inclusive communities designed around people rather than cars.
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