Welcome to new list members who attended our Beyond Towers and Sprawl event. We heard an informative conversation between Alex Lee and Karen Parolek, featuring Opticos' visually appealing renditions of the climate-friendly, community-building housing we could have with appropriate reforms. If you missed the event, you can catch it here. Make sure to support Alex in his State Assembly campaign, and thank our cosponsors South Bay YIMBY and East Bay for Everyone. You can support Karen's work and learn more by buying Dan Parolek's book Missing Middle Housing.
Julian Castro at the YIMBY Awards this Fri!
Julian Castro, presidential candidate and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary under Pres. Obama, has been a national leader in calling for fair housing. He will keynote this year's YIMBY Awards. This year's event will be online at 5:30pm Oct 23: get your ticket now.
Reject a lease renewal for fossil fuel infrastructure on SF's public land
Urban Environmentalists Phillip Kobernick and Erik Shilts published this op-ed in the SF Examiner. Tell the SF Board of Supervisors that if their actions are to match their rhetoric on the climate emergency and our housing crisis, then a decade-long below-market lease to a gas station is not the way forward: sign our petition.
A telework mandate is not the climate solution we need
Rather than promoting walkable communities, complete streets, and fully funded transit, the regional transportation planning agency MTC is proposing to meet its obligations to reduce driving miles by mandating telework. Many of our region's political leaders, including London Breed and Scott Wiener, are pushing back. We have a petition with regional partner organizations led by Transbay Coalition to fix the mandate.
Transportation for America's new report Driving Down Emissions
Urban Environmentalists know that we can't decarbonize transportation with electric cars alone: and even if we could, we would be squandering the opportunity to prioritize healthier, equitable solutions. They gather together all our favorite arguments with compelling graphics and figures in this wonderful new report. Join them for a national discussion Oct 28.
Streets for People inaugural event
Friends of Urban Environmentalists have launched a new Bay Area organization Streets for People. Their first event will be a forum on Prop 22 this Thursday at 6pm.
Two weeks left to vote and volunteer!
We suggest referencing the YIMBY Action Voter Guide and the SPUR Voter Guide. And don't forget to volunteer for Yes on RR to save Caltrain!
What We're Reading
We have an exciting upcoming event we wanted to make sure that you learned about! On Mon, Oct 5, our monthly meeting will be Beyond Towers and Sprawl. Today our partners hosted a forum on how Measure RR can help support public transit. Sign up to support Measure RR here.
We're glad that Gov. Newsom signed SB 288! Thanks to those of you who may have emailed him.
Beyond Towers and Sprawl
It's OK if you like towers-- we do too! But when most people in the US think of housing possibilities, their minds immediately go to single-family detached houses on the one hand, and austere high-rises built from steel and concrete on the other. But this dichotomy itself is historically anomalous and a product of the mid-20th century pro-sprawl agenda. Worse, the specter of a century of racist housing policy looms over the conversation. First we had poorly conceived and maintained high-rise public housing projects, where Le Corbusier's Towers in the Park aesthetic met America's tragic commitment to segregated communities. More recently, the tables have turned and we have seen much of the new housing construction in American cities focused into a small area, taking the form of large condo projects marketed at the wealthy, often in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. (At the same time, far too few homes have been built altogether, and much of what has been built consists of new sprawl.)
Allowing a broader range of housing types over a broader geographic area, in the form of "missing middle housing," can be a big part of the solution: especially if this encourages housing designed to be car-light and facilitates building smaller, more affordable homes, even absent subsidies. One recent study found that the entire housing shortage in the US could conceivably be filled by missing middle alone (though the shortage is more pronounced in California). The movement for 15-minute cities and the rise of micromobility could synergize with the movement for missing middle to support Urban Environmentalist goals.
This is why we are excited to be in conversation with State Assembly candidate Alex Lee and Missing Middle expert Karen Parolek to explore this concept next week on Oct 5 at 7:30pm: please RSVP here. We thank South Bay YIMBY and East Bay for Everyone for cohosting.
What We're Reading