Topic: Urban Planning & Process

A row of three modular housing units covered with vibrant murals.

A Colorful Housing Collaborative

There are an estimated 700 unhoused, “transition-aged youth” between the ages of 18–24 who live in Alameda County. Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is a Berkeley-based non-profit organization that has taken groundbreaking steps to help these individuals as they enter adulthood.

A fleet of three San Francisco ferries gliding across the water on a clear day, with the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline in the background.

Smooth Sailing Across the Bay

While they may not be as fast or convenient as BART or the Bay Bridge, ferries are a key part of the Bay Area’s public infrastructure. EcoBlock’s Amit Cohen explores the history of this maritime mode of transportation.

The California Hotel

Welcome to the California Hotel

While neighborhoods are not static, maintaining an area’s historical and cultural character can help create a sense of place. Such is the case with the California Hotel in West Oakland–recent renovations have maintained the building’s historic exterior while giving it a new role in its community.

Historic brick and stone building at corner of Washington and Ninth St. in Old Oakland.

An Architectural Blast into the Past 

Oakland has one of the most interesting architectural legacies in the Bay Area: Art Deco, Beaux-Arts, and Victorian buildings are scattered throughout the city, and famous architects such as Julia Morgan and Frederick Law Olmstead have left their imprint on the urban landscape. Even though new developments have put this history in danger, a local group in Old Oakland is making sure it is preserved.

Aerial view of Jack London Square including harbor with boats.

The Square By the Sea

Situated across the Bay from the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, Oakland’s Jack London Square is an entertaining district for tourists and residents alike. EcoBlock’s Amit Cohen explores the constant redevelopment of this historic waterfront as it navigates a long-standing, cross-bay rivalry.

Aerial view of an urban cityscape framing a central lake

Setting the Green Standard

Oakland has taken strides to improve sustainability and resilience within the city, implementing a variety of plans and programs in recent years (including the Oakland EcoBlock)! Yet it can be difficult to measure progress on climate change issues due to the complexity of these problems.

a suburban neighborhood view from the sky

Event Recap: ‘Getting to Zero: Trends in the Built Environment’

The Oakland EcoBlock team recently participated in a panel discussion at the 2022 Diversity in Tech Symposium. EcoBlock’s Eunice Chung provides a recap of the discussion, which considered decarbonization in the built environment through the lenses of business, policy, and research.

Illustration of several people planting and pruning trees

EcoBlock Tree Guide: Decorating the Block

Picking a tree is a matchmaking game. Sherwood Design Engineers is gathering a list of the best tree options for the Oakland EcoBlock that have relatively low water usage, low isoprene emissions, and high resiliency in a changing climate. Learn more about Sherwood’s tree selection process for EcoBlock.

Schematic showing proposed West Oakland Bart redevelopment

Environmental Justice: The Past and Future in Oakland

Living in a clean and safe community with access to opportunities for employment, education, and transportation are key to promoting individual and community well-being—yet not all individuals have equal access to these resources. In this blog, EcoBlock communications assistant Anna Haefele discusses the concept of environmental justice within the context of Oakland, highlighting historical challenges and future opportunities to advance social equity and improve quality of life for communities.

COP26 Conference Logo

COP26: A Critical Opportunity for Climate

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is a key opportunity to catalyze global efforts and address climate change. Learn more about why this year is so critical, and the importance of California climate leadership.