The Bay Area Council Transportation and Land Use program works to improve transportation for all Bay Area residents and businesses and is focused on making changes to policies and regulations that block and deter smart growth in the region.
The Bay Area is the most expensive place to live in United States. The cost of housing is the single most important factor driving the cost of living. The housing affordability crisis is principally a function of supply and demand: a strong demand for a constrained supply has driven prices and rents higher and higher in spite of the sub-prime lending crisis. The housing crisis negatively impacts both quality of life and the region’s economic competitiveness. The high cost of housing leaves less money available for other quality of life issues, such as paying for healthcare, education or leisure activities. The lack of affordable housing in the interior of the Bay Area pushes the workforce to find housing on the exterior fringes of the Bay Area.
Many barriers to housing production rest in the public planning and permitting process. The Bay Area Council housing program is focused on making change to policies and regulations that block and deter housing from being produced in the places that support the smart growth of the region.
The Bay Area Council transportation program works to improve transportation convenience and reliability for all Bay Area residents and businesses. While Bay Area population has exploded, transportation investment has lagged. Predictably, traffic congestion has skyrocketed, commutes times have increased, and the region has become a less hospital place to live, work and do business. In the new global economy, the transportation infrastructure—sea ports, airports, freight rail, and highways—that supports international trade is key to economic leadership.
The Bay Area Council transportation program is leading the charge to reverse these dismal trends with efforts to get more service out of our existing transportation system, to raise more funds for the system, and to ensure that investments go towards projects that will best improve the region’s transportation problems. These efforts will lead to easier commutes, less time stuck in traffic congestion, more convenient transit alternatives, and reduced costs to move people and ship goods in, out and through the region.
The Transportation & Land Use Committee prioritizes and focuses on sustainable, transportation oriented, strategic smart growth to ensure future regional competitiveness of the Bay Area. The Committee advances and influences the development, approval, and execution of a coherent set of local and regional land use and transportation plans, state and federal legislation, and public and private projects that ensure a livable, sustainable, and prosperous future for Bay Area residents and employers.
The Urban Development Working Group (UDWG) was formed to help formulate an Urban Development plan on how to restart Bay Area real estate investment and development. Smart, effective urban infill planning and development is integral to future growth in the Bay Area and to mitigate the effects of global warming. Unfortunately, there are currently policies in place that hinder smart growth and urban development. The UDWG is an influential group of developers, investors, bankers, brokers, and the Bay Area real estate community working to establish our priorities to stimulate urban infill and promote strategic land use policies.
February 2-3, 2010