Great News

Video: Gentrification Explained

“Gentrification Explained” is a short video that unpacks what gentrification really means, getting beyond the buzzword.  It was produced through the collaboration of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, the Urban Displacement Project at UC-Berkeley, and The San Francisco Foundation’s Great Communities Collaborative. Gentrification is complex. To understand it, there are three key things to consider: The historic conditions, […..]

Video – Pushed Out: Displacement Today and Lasting Impacts

“Pushed Out” is a short explainer video that helps paint a clearer picture of displacement and its long-term impact. It was produced through the collaboration of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, the Urban Displacement Project at UC-Berkeley, and The San Francisco Foundation’s Great Communities Collaborative. Displacement is often a a misunderstood crisis, and there are a few […..]

Houston, Harvey and Climate Resilience: A Reflection

By: Elizabeth Wampler, GCC Initiative Officer Growing up in Houston, I quickly got used to watching the waters rise. I remember Sims Bayou, less than 1000 feet from my house, flooding over its banks multiple times and having to wait out the flooding of my neighborhood streets in drug store parking lots or in unflooded […..]

Advocate Win! : Fremont Adopts Linkage Fee on New Commercial Development.

Authors: Dessi Mia Carbajal and Anthony Federico – East Bay Housing Organization (EBHO) We know San Francisco, Oakland, and the Peninsula are ground zero for the housing and displacement crisis. But rising rents and the lack of quality, affordable homes are putting pressure on all corners of the Bay Area. Take South Alameda County.  Prosperous, […..]

Advocates and Communities Win! Walnut Creek Steps Up for Affordable Housing!

It all started in Walnut Creek cafes, living rooms and churches in 2012. That’s the year East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO), Greenbelt Alliance, and several congregations and nonprofits came together to promote equitable development in the City. In 2012, housing costs were rising – but they hadn’t begun to spike like they have in the […..]

What Will it Take to Fill the Affordable Housing Gap?

Full Report Last year, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Silicon Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) adopted ambitious targets to prioritize the construction of affordable housing on their land – 35% of all housing built on their land would be affordable and at least 20% on each site. Both agencies are developing implementation plans to determine […..]

What Makes a Great Community?

Photo by William Newton

What makes a great community? The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) often answers that question by talking about places where families can afford a safe and healthy home, where it’s easy to get to work, to the grocery store, to the park, without having to own a car, or by taking transit, by walking, by biking. […..]

Transit Agencies in California Take on Affordable Housing

In August and September of 2016, former GCC IO Geeta Rao authored two Shelterforce articles highlighting the rationale and role of California transit agencies taking nuanced approaches to addressing equity and sustainability through a housing lens. Read these in-depth articles here (A New Paradigm for California Transit: Equity, Sustainability, and Housing) and here (California Transit […..]

Directing Regional Dollars Towards Equity

On July 27, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) made new rules for how money will be spent that makes the strongest connection between federal transportation dollars and housing yet. One of the programs run by MTC, our regional transportation agency, is meant to better tie transportation money to regional housing goals ever – creating more […..]

Santa Clara County Transit Agency Adopts Affordable Housing Policy

Written by: Chris O’Connor, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Charisse Ma Lebron, Working Partnerships USA On April 7, 2016, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board of Directors unanimously adopted a strong affordable housing policy. Components include a 35% system-wide affordability target, annual accountability reporting, and tangible incentives to ensure affordable housing is actually built. This win […..]

Who will our future Oakland be for?

By Anthony Federico, Associate Director of East Bay Housing Organizations In September, Uber announced its purchase of the Sear’s building in downtown Oakland, and in an instant, the story of Oakland changed. A global tech giant filling 330,000 square feet of iconic downtown Oakland office space with 3,000 employees sends a clear message: Oakland is […..]

VTA Surplus Land: Joint Development Policy

By Zoe Mullendore, Silicon Valley Leadership Group There is an intrinsic nexus between housing and transportation since people choose transit options based on where they live. Creating sustainable options to get people from point A to point B requires smart planning from both housing and transit perspectives. Therefore, it’s time for transportation agencies to embrace […..]

Mountain View Take Two Steps Forward

Written by Uri Pachter, Project Manager at Greenbelt Alliance On December 9, Mountain View took two important steps toward creating a more vibrant and affordable city by approving a long-term vision for the El Camino Real corridor and voting to significantly increase funds for new affordable homes. With median rents for a one-bedroom apartment in Mountain View currently hovering around […..]

Living in the Map

 A reflection on the Broadway-Valdez District Specific Plan by Gloria Bruce Maps can tell us a lot about a place’s “bones” and potential – how does a place connect to other neighborhoods? What land is really available to realize a community vision?   In the case of the Broadway Valdez District, a deceptively sleepy neighborhood is […..]

Implementation of Equitable and Sustainable TOD Request for Proposals – Due October 30

GCC is pleased to release our Implementation of Equitable and Sustainable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Request for Proposals (RFP), due October 30, 2014. GCC has shaped 34 of the region’s station area plans; helped craft Plan Bay Area, the most progressive Sustainable Communities Strategy in the state; incubated the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH); […..]

Making Streets into Places in Oakland

On July 1st, 2014, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved the Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan, which calls for 1,800 new homes—many of which will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents in a time when these families are being priced out of transit-accessible neighborhoods in Oakland. Broadway Valdez has been a place of long term […..]

Warm Springs TOD offers breaks to developers, and community members too?

By Allison Lasser, Executive Director of Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR) On July 1st, Fremont’s Planning Commission took an important step towards approving one of the Bay Area’s largest sites of undeveloped industrial land by passing a revised Community Plan and Environmental Impact Review for Warm Springs. Warm Springs will soon be home to the region’s newest […..]

San Jose Diridon Station Area Plan Adopted!

Last night the San Jose City Council adopted the Diridon Station Area Plan. The Diridon station sits in the heart of San Jose, just outside of downtown, and currently serves as a major transit hub in San Jose, connecting Caltrain, VTA light rail and buses, and Amtrak. Diridon is also a planned stop on the […..]

South San Francisco Gets Walking

Written by Clarrissa Cabansagan, Community Planner, TransForm March 22 was an unusually sunny Saturday in South San Francisco—perfect weather for a walk around the City’s Downtown Plan Area. That morning a group of over 35 individuals put on their comfy shoes and threw on some shades to tour key sites around the City’s Caltrain Station. The South […..]

Concord Poised to Achieve Great Changes

Written by Joel Devalcourt, Regional Representative, East Bay, Greenbelt Alliance Concord is poised to achieve great changes for its communities. Following on the heels of its visionary Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan, the City is already moving forward on One Bay Area Grant program-funded projects that will make streets downtown safer for walking and biking. The Downtown Concord Specific Plan, which the […..]

GCC Sites Receive Safe Routes to Transit Grants

Written by Clarrissa Cabansagan, Community Planner, TransForm Last February the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved projects for the fifth and final cycle of Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T). The SR2T grant program is managed by Clarrissa Cabansagan from TransForm and Dave Campbell from Bike East Bay, with fiscal sponsorship from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Funded by Regional Measure […..]

City v. Suburbs: Which is greener?

Living in a compact neighborhood with a range of transportation choices—neighborhoods where you can take transit to work, walk to the store, or walk your children to school—reduces the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) you are responsible for putting into the atmosphere, right? … Read more over at The San Francisco Foundation’s blog, where Elizabeth […..]

Planning at San Jose Diridon Drawing to a Close

San Jose Diridon, Photo by tracktwentynine (Flickr)

Written by Michele Beasley, Regional Director, Greenbelt Alliance Greenbelt Alliance has been engaged in the Diridon Station Area planning effort for several years, having spent considerable time and resources crafting a plan that will lead to a dense, walkable, green, bike-friendly, equitable and dynamic transit district. Diridon Station is a priority site for the Great Communities […..]

Linking Caltrain and Pedestrians in Silicon Valley

On Saturday, October 12th, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Friends of Caltrain and the Sunnyvale Cool sponsored a Lawrence Station walking tour to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities at the Lawrence Caltrain Station. With more than 20 Sunnyvale residents in attendance, the tour was led by Sustainability Commissioner and Lawrence Station Area […..]

A Visit from Partners

Earlier this month, GCC was delighted to host our partner transit-oriented development collaboratives from other parts of the country, Mile High Connects in Denver and a nascent Collaborative in Atlanta, as well as the Ford Foundation and Living Cities. While our regions are significantly different from one another in terms of geography and political landscape, we […..]

Welcome to www.greatcommunities.org!

Bringing expertise across multiple disciplines and deep knowledge of our communities, we are pleased to launch this website as a hub for real-time activity and sharing best practices in equitable transit-oriented development. We encourage you to explore the site and learn more about our partners, strategies, and resources — and lessons learned from our first seven years as a collective […..]

A Thriving and Diverse East Palo Alto

Preserving Affordability and Diversity in Silicon Valley Following their successful advocacy for the East Palo Alto Ravenswood Business District Specific Plan, the Envision-Transform-Build Coalition of Urban Habitat, Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) and Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) continues to work in East Palo Alto to preserve the community’s affordability and diversity. East Palo Alto […..]

Creating a Healthier Pittsburg/Bay Point

Health is a core tenet of the Great Communities Collaborative: research has shown that households located near high-quality transit have higher rates of walking and biking, lower likelihood of being overweight or obese, and lower risks of life threatening, obesity-related diseases for residents. Learn about MITOD The GCC puts this data into action through its […..]

Great communities collaborative

Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) is a network of organizations dedicated to creating healthy, thriving, and affordable neighborhoods in the Bay Area, anchored by transit and linked to all the opportunities and amenities that make a good community truly great.

Great Communities Collaborative is an initiative of The San Francisco Foundation.