Grand Boulevards: A Framework for Workforce Housing, Environmental Repair, and Economic BalanceHousing is at the crux of some of our biggest global challenges, but continually expanding outward is an unsustainable trend. We know the only rational direction is inward—infilling, repairing, and enhancing our existing communities—shifting from cars to walking, biking, and public transit. But how and where? A solution might lie in the strip malls across U.S. cities that have largely become a sign of time gone by, relics filled with the economic decay born of our increasingly online lives. The retail ribbons crosscutting communities can form a network of next-generation workforce housing and transit, transforming placeless arterials into “Grand Boulevards”— providing places to live that are more affordable to the environment, to households, and to our cities. Repair the strip, build accessible workforce housing, invest in transit, and humanize the asphalt wastelands that divide our communities. This presentation will explore the possibilities of “Grand Boulevards” with examples from Los Angeles County and San Francisco.
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A pioneer of innovative urban revitalization, community planning, and regional design, Peter Calthorpe’s long and honored career spans decades and numerous publications. Calthorpe is known for developing the concept of transit-oriented development—an idea that is now the foundation of many regional policies and city plans around the world. In 2001, he published The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl with Bill Fulton, explaining how regional-scale planning can integrate urban revitalization and suburban renewal into a coherent vision of metropolitan growth. His seminal plans for U.S. cities—Portland, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and post-hurricane southern Louisiana—demonstrated a more interactive approach to environmental design at an urban scale. For his contribution in redefining the models of urban and suburban growth, Calthorpe was honored with Urban Land Institute's prestigious Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development Award in 2006. His latest book, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change, documents his work relating patterns of development to energy and carbon emissions, along with other environmental, social, and economic impacts. Calthorpe Associates, the award-winning sustainable urban design and planning firm founded by Peter Calthorpe—joined HDR in 2019 and is now known as HDR | Calthorpe. Full bio: https://www.hdrinc.com/person/peter-calthorpe
Michelle Malanca Frey is the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute San Francisco. Since joining ULI in 2016, Michelle collaborated with members to launch Housing the Bay, an initiative bringing together dozens of public, private, labor, and community organizations to share bold ideas and strategies and to foster equitable solutions to the region’s severe housing shortage. In 2019, she was a recipient of the Northern California Real Estate Woman of Influence Award from the San Francisco Business Times. Previously, as Vice President at the World Green Building Council, Michelle led collaborative, global projects and campaigns to accelerate the uptake of sustainable buildings and address climate change. As Technical Director at the Green Building Council of Australia, she chaired multi-stakeholder processes to develop green building rating tools and transform the real estate industry. As part of her own consultancy, she facilitated programs and initiatives for public, private, nonprofit, and multilateral organizations around the world to drive innovation and transformative change. She has spoken at dozens of conferences in the US, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Canada, and throughout Latin America.