Policy & Law - Urban Planning & Process

Planning and public works strategies for future EcoBlocks

The urban planning discipline provides a description of the regulatory and governance strategy and lessons learned to reviewing, approving, and permitting the EcoBlock model in cities. As the project develops, we will demonstrate the ways in which common or available planning, building, and public works tools and strategies can be applied to facilitate the consideration of EcoBlock projects. Recommendations will be structured by department type, allowing the consolidation and focus on tools and codes specific to each municipal function. This work is specific to the laws and standards used in California, but the principles can be applied outside of California as well.

Planning Context: General Plan

Context: San Francisco Bay Area
The Oakland EcoBlock within the context of the SF Bay Area. Image credit: UC Berkeley, Page Southerland Page, Siegel & Strain.

During Phase 1, the research team developed multiple scenarios for the microgrid design, for energy efficient retrofits, and for water efficient scenarios. The Community-Scale Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Retrofit Master Plan is a synthesis of the selective application of Energy Efficiency Retrofits, refined by estimates acquired from the detailed energy audit in Phase 2, and the application of Water Scenarios. See the Phase 1 Report for full details.

The Oakland EcoBlock

Context: City of Oakland
The Oakland EcoBlock within the context of the city of Oakland. Image credit: UC Berkeley, Page Southerland Page, Siegel & Strain.

The EcoBlock project is working closely with the city of Oakland to develop the pilot block and to help Oakland meet its policy goals:

Fast facts about the Oakland EcoBlock:

Units Participating
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Buildings Participating
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Average Lot Size

Lot size ranges from 2,300-10,500 sf

Individual dwelling units range in size from from 850-1,600 sf

Most are one- and two-story wood-frame construction

40% houses purchased in the past 10 years

The microgrid design will provide homes with a community PV system that will be tied to a block-scale DC microgrid containing a shared battery storage system and shared EV chargers. Each home will have a DC/AC inverter, connected from the DC microgrid to the existing AC load center and a separate DC circuit to new DC appliances, as available on a selective basis.

Explore other EcoBlock disciplines: