Smart Growth: Infill Development Along a Multilane Transit Corridor

EPA Grant Number: SU831853
Title: Smart Growth: Infill Development Along a Multilane Transit Corridor
Investigators: Deakin, Elizabeth
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through May 30, 2005
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Infill development along transit corridors is a key element of smart growth, and revitalization of older, low and moderate income neighborhoods and their business districts is an important smart growth strategy. In many such neighborhoods and business districts, the principal street(s) are multi-lane arterials traversed by high volumes of cars, trucks, and buses uneasily sharing the space with pedestrians and bicycles. Maintaining reasonable traffic flow while providing bus priority and pedestrian and bike comfort and safety has been a daunting problem. Likewise, infill development has been difficult to achieve due to high costs (to developers and to communities), complex approval processes, and in some cases, community opposition to change.


This studio project will build upon long-term and newly developing relationships among local, regional and state transportation agencies, UC Berkeley researchers, and private nonprofit organizations to develop an implementable plan for one such arterial, San Pablo Avenue on the Eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay Area. This 4-6 lane urban arterial runs through low and moderate income, mixed race, urban and suburban communities in nine cities and two counties.


We will join elected officials and staff to test whether cooperative, multimodal, multidisciplinary plans can overcome barriers to environmentally friendly modes and infill development. Students drawn from the planning, engineering, public policy, energy and resources, and urban design groups at Berkeley will work with stakeholders to develop street, sidewalk, and transitway designs and innovative traffic operations plans aimed at increasing transit, walking, and biking in the San Pablo Corridor while accommodating but calming auto and truck traffic. They will identify sites and develop designs for higher density mixed income housing, retail, and office uses, and will propose zoning changes and other development incentives as needed. Resident, merchant, property owner and developer surveys, interviews, focus groups, charrettes and workshops will guide the work and help assure that products are sustainable, responding to concerns and aspirations about equity, quality of life, economic prosperity, and environmental quality people, prosperity, and the planet.

Expected Results:

Performance measures are stakeholder willingness to carry forward the plans, and in the longer term, mode shifts, VMT reductions, and revitalization. Students will learn P3 concepts through lectures, readings, and hands-on experience in the studio and project meetings.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 5 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

land, mobile sources, pollution prevention, public policy, decision making, surveys, modeling, California (CA), transportation (SIC 4111, 9621), RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, green design, environmental sustainability, ecological design, environmental conscious construction, community based, pollution control, sustainable urban environment, collaborative urban planning, environmentally friendly infill development, environmentally conscious design, sustainable urban redevelopment

Relevant Websites:

Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report