Sustainable Land Use

How our cities grow – with new housing, retail and job opportunities in downtown environments that don’t require an automobile – determines much of our carbon footprint, from driving to energy and water usage.

Grading California’s Rail Transit Station Areas

How well do California’s rail transit station neighborhoods create walkable, equitable, and thriving locales?  A CLEE report, released by Next 10, graded 489 neighborhoods within 1/2-mile radius of stations in California’s six rail transit systems, covering the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Why grade these neighborhoods?  The most effective rail systems with the highest ridership serve significant concentrations of jobs, retail, services, and housing around their stations and along the corridors they travel, particularly those within 1/2 mile of the station.  The grades revealed that high-performing stations are often in the middle of transit systems in downtown-like environments, while the poorest-performing stations are often located at the outer edges of rail systems and urban areas. 

The City Streets Project

The City Streets Project examined the design, function and regulation of a major city street with an eye toward reducing related greenhouse gas emissions.  Working with experts in urban design, water use, traffic management, parking policy, human behavior and energy efficiency, we selected a typical street and identified wasteful design and use.  We established a vision for the design and use of that street would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and barriers to making that vision a reality.

Ethan Elkind delivers a lecture at UCLA, on the past and future of LA’s metro rail.