Sustainability of the Natural & the Built Environment



Homogenous Environmental seb-Zones. Part of a land suitability exercise along the Red Sea coast

Sustainability in both the natural and built environment is a major issue facing policy-makers, planners, developers and designers. There is no project, neighborhood or city that have yet achieved the right sustainability balance (the 3 Es). The assessment and exploration of existing built forms allows us to learn more about weaknesses that can be enhanced and improved in future projects, plans and designs.

(1) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life.

(2) In one page, mention and explain two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development but not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life.

(Sustainable Development in Cities, USP 514 Class Discussion)

31 thoughts on “Sustainability of the Natural & the Built Environment

  1. Home Work Assignment #2
    (1) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life.
    I think that in the bay area the main environmental components influencing he residents in this area is the topography, hydrology as well as the geology of the region. The topography of San Francisco is mainly sandy and the terrain is also mountainous. These characteristics of the land dictate the way the area was developed, for example the houses are constructed on a greater slope in some areas than other parts of the city. This also addressed the sandy terrain and how the city was developed with this in mind, an example of this would be the fact that there were certain plants introduced to the area to minimize erosion and construction in areas near the beach have to take into consideration erosion when developing the area. Another major way the topography impacts the people living in this region is the weather, it provided San Francisco with its famous fog as well as wind. The hydrology of San Francisco involved the whole bay area, and the nearby terrain of Napa, Sonoma, and mountain ranges such as the Diablo range and the Santa Cruz mountains are the defining features of our hydrology. However, San Francisco also depends on Hetch Hecthy and the ground water, which is only about 5% ( People in the San Francisco area are proud of the clean water provided by the hydrologic region. This also provided several outdoor recreation activities for residents of the area to participate in. The geology of San Francisco also dictates past development as well as further development of the city, along with the muted fear of another big earthquake devastating the city once again. Taking into consideration the table presented in the lecture (table 17.1), I can see that the land is on a slope, permeable, and has the potential to store water based on the use of the land. The geology of the land allows San Francisco to have parks, golf courses, residential areas, trails as well as transportation. San Francisco is an unusual example do to the steep hills and being surrounded by the bay however, the geography is still good for maintaining the needs of city residents.
    (2) In one page, mention and explain two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development but not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life.
    One crucial element that is crucial to sustainable development is the concept of Justianablity. This concept merges together the idea of sustainability and social justice. Within cities there are an alarming amount of people who suffer from poverty and go hungry due to the way in which cities are developed to use resources for the rich while disregarding the poor. An example of this is food waste, from all of the grocery stores, bakeries, café, and restaurants in San Francisco they produce enough food waste to improve the problem of hunger within the city, if not solve it. Not to mention that food waste in a huge source of environmental degradation. Food uses a large amount of natural resources to produce the finished product that consumers enjoy on their plates. Justianability also addresses the problem of lowing income communities being hurt by the use of fuel which generates pollution. These communities are being affected by these methods are experiencing health impacts which will magnify when children reach the age of going to school and later on to experiencing more serious diseases. Another major element in the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development is the implementation of green space in order to preserve the natural function of ecosystems as well as the wellbeing of the citizens in the area. I would argue that the implementation of large natural areas is more important that the implementation of smaller green areas because more people can enjoy from the space collectively while using the space from recreation and encouraging human interaction with in the community. The use of large natural areas also preserves the ecosystems and reduces the interruption of system flows due to excessive roads and trails. The value of ecosystem interactions is so incredibly valuable because of humans’ inability to recreate them.

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  2. The San Francisco Bay Area faces a lot of interesting environmental issues. Some of them are pretty standard, changing air quality, increased congestion on roads and freeways, but some of them are a little different. Rising sea levels impact us dramatically, as do fault lines and all their baggage. Not to mention the fact that a solid portion of San Francisco was built on landfills and trash. When another big earthquake comes, a lot of people are going to be in big trouble. But since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the city has mobilized. New buildings are build according to new codes and with new safety standards to meet. Older buildings are slowly being retrofitted and brought up to code. But retrofitting can lead to displacement, rising rents, and gentrification. The environmental issues the city faced in the past and continues to face today are inextricably tied to the city’s housing issues of today.
    The hand of the city government is far reaching, but incredibly slow. Codes take time to change, and as we move farther and farther away from the last time a catastrophic event happened, the urgency goes down. It’s been almost 30 years since Loma Prieta, and people have forgotten the devastation. On top of that, codes and regulations are only as good as their enforcement. How often does the city check to see that people are keeping their buildings up to code?
    Link to trash parts of city:

    San Francisco is the perfect example of a city with the ability and money to positively impact its citizens, but doesn’t. The city, and the Bay Area as a whole, invests really little in affordable housing and public transportation. These two things are “crucial to sustainable development” in that if there was more affordable housing in the city, people would no longer have to commute from out in the East Bay (and beyond) just to get to work. Or, even if the city didn’t invest in affordable housing, but invested in better, more effective, and more far-reaching public transportation, people would no longer have to drive as much as they do. San Francisco refuses to invest deeply into either of these ventures, and only does so when forced to. There is a measure on the ballot to force developers building new housing to increase the percentage of below-market-rate units in their buildings, but the association of realtors continue to throw money at anything like that in order to continue to maximize their profits. Should the city take a stand, they could make it possible for people to live in San Francisco once more and remove the need to commute from far away. Doing so would drastically improve most people’s quality of life, and make the freeways a little nicer for everyone.
    Link to where people commute from:
    Link to Section 415:

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  3. Nicholas B. Evans
    Homework #2

    I am from the East Bay Area, specifically the areas of Martinez, Concord and Walnut Creek. Sustainable development in theses areas usually means having to build up and increased density near public transit areas. Some components of sustainability in use in these areas are a reduction of greenhouse emissions. Allocating more openspaces, protecting current openspaces and actually preserving the state and communities parks that are around the area. There is also more library and civic building being built in more accessible areas within the downtown city areas.
    I think that there are some examples of how sustainability is applied in these areas within the context of how AB32 (Global Warming Act) and SB375 (2008 Sustainable Communities Strategy). SB375 links land use and transportation while it specifies the majority of future construction to be compact, high-density, low-income housing next to mass transit. This is used to force residents out of their cars and single family homes to ostensibly reduce GHGs. As the AB32 calls for the reduction of GHG’s to pre 1990’s levels by 2020. (I don’t think we are on track).
    Some projects that I believe fall under these state obligations are the building of housing near the Bart corridors, specifically in my area an example would be the Pleasant Hill bart commuter housing and the West Oakland public housing near the Bart lines. These are sustainable because they encourage less greenhouse gas emissions while taking land that was less dense and put high density housing in place. With housing being close to bart this encourages families to have less cars. It changes the dynamic of the housing normality for the area, which is single family homes to a higher density more urban environment. This can increase how much the people who live by Bart actually take Bart because of the ease and accessibility that the housing provides. I think this also changes how people spend their money. I think that with the households having one or no automobile they are more encouraged to spend their dollars in their community and around their homes.
    The area that I live in encourages people to move into expensive downtown condos, that are near Bart lines, this housing has access to civic libraries and amenities. I believe this is how the planners use sustainability to change the urban landscape from single family homes to higher density housing that may or may not be affordable.

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  4. USP 514


    The city of Hayward is located right at the coast of the East bay. It is just at the other end of the San Mateo Bridge. Being right next to the ocean, the climate is pretty comfortable majority of the time so it does not affect people’s lifestyle so much. The easy climate and coastal location of Hayward can also influence people to become more active in outdoor activities. Although, the most influencing environmental component of this city would have to be the geography of its location. The ocean not only prevents the city of Hayward from developing west, it also provides a natural landscape for animals and other species to inhabit. However, bridges like the San Mateo Bridge and the Bay Bridge make it possible for people to drive out to cities in the peninsula. This made it possible for San Francisco to outsource jobs to other people living in other peripheral cities. Although, these two bridges were not enough to fulfill the demand of people wanting to travel over the water to the peninsula which gave rise to further development such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART. The geography of the city I live in vastly influences the way people get around. Conveniently, it is also located right in between two other major cities: Oakland and San Jose. Dublin and Pleasanton are approximately the same distance away as well from Hayward going east. This makes the lifestyle of anyone that lives in Hayward very versatile since it is literally at the center point of the bay area. With that being said, accessibility to a variety of grocery stores, recreational facilities or areas of public space, and other amenities create a healthy life style for residents.


    The structure of Hayward is built almost purely suburban. It mostly consists of neighborhoods of people typically in the lower middle class. In these most recent years, Hayward has gone through some major development to make the city more attractive for people to visit or live in. More modern restaurants and recreational amenities were built and are still being built in the downtown vicinity bringing in a different kind of crowd to the market. Homeless people as well as gang members used to be more visually abundant, but with the new reform, Hayward is a more pleasant place for residents and visitors to spend their recreational time. On the other hand, would this new development make Hayward a more sustainable city? Visually and financially, that seems to be the case. However, it is more likely not improving economic and health related demographics. It is rather displacing them elsewhere. The newly built environment attracts people of higher income levels making the city appear to be more sustainable, but it fails to actually fix the problem of its low economic background. Another example to mention is the new housing complex being development next to the Hayward and South Hayward BART stations. BART is supposed to be a mode of public transportation more catered to those in the lower class with its cheap fares and it enabling people to travel without having a personal vehicle. Although, these new housing complexes are have starting rates almost equivalent to owning an entire house. The accessibility to BART causes the housing prices to reach heights only higher income levels can afford which in turn makes it not as accessible to those in the lower class. Sustainable development comes at a costly price. Finding the balance of each element is key to building a built environment that is sustainable for future generations to come.

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  5. Akram Yasin Abdulrahman
    One of the most prominent environmental and sustainable components that I have in close surrounding is the presence of separate waste handling. In our community, we have the necessary platform and resources to sort out our waste which eventually act as a sustainable factor due to the improved concern regarding recycling waste. In other places that I have lived in and are familiar with do not possess similar resources close by which meant that people had to go long distances (most likely by car due to the distance and amount of waste) to recycle and sort out compost for instance. By having recycling utilities around where I live along with outlets that allow me to sort out compost as well, will first of all act as an encouraging factor for citizens in how to sort out waste, and secondly there’s not too big of an opportunity cost to perform actual recycling. Instead of driving to the nearest recycling center which means more money spent on gas and time consumed, while simultaneously increasing CO2 emissions, we now have a sustainable way of handling our waste. Our environment also allows the residents in our neighborhood to be sustainable in other aspects of our lives such as through public transport. In the residential area that I reside, a local bus that goes to neighborhood city center stops at most corners which enable residents to take the bus instead when going to the city center to do grocery shopping as opposed to driving. The built environment around our community is so accommodated to the local residents that cars essentially become external necessities that some individuals might be in need of to go out of our municipality as opposed to being a direct necessity within our community. The obvious factors with the above mentioned examples are that financially speaking, it’ll help include people of all backgrounds to access a sustainable approach to their daily routines due to the cheap, time efficient, and sustainable accessibilities within our residential area.

    The most notable aspect that prevents a just form of sustainability in the community where I live is the financial disparity. The residential area (which is close to SFSU) is extremely expensive and the rates are beyond the average prices of San Francisco for rent. This would essentially mean that primarily high income families are the ones who can sustainably afford living here and enjoy the sustainable accommodations that our areas provide. Whilst living here, there are certain means to live a sustainable life and save money however fundamentally speaking this area only cater to the people who can afford the expensive rent rates. Although it’s a very complicated issue and the demand also has a factor which definitely bring the prices up due to the quality of the area, it fails however from a socioeconomic perspective because it is only serving the people who are of high income. Alternatives that people go for (including myself) is to live with a several roommates which has become a trend in San Francisco, but there are certain luxury services that are offered at our premises including gym which brings the prices up. If new apartments are built, perhaps without gym, recreational room, and so forth, they eventually can attract residents of other income levels as well who then also are able to access the sustainable accommodations that are around our area. Another aspect that is lacking from a sustainability point of view is the lack of green space. Ironically enough considering the services provided with public transport and recycling, our environment consists of a lot pathways used by cars including asphalt roads and parking spaces. Although we do have a small percentage of green environment and space, it is not enough for any major visible wildlife to flourish. With more public parks and green space where wildlife can thrive, human beings may also use them for outdoor recreation activities. Instead of having families driving to the nearest park, by having more green spaces and public parks on site it will help reduce energy consumption and help regulate sustainability within the community.

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  6. Growing up in South San Jose for a majority of my life, there are many significant environmental components influencing the area that I live in. Visually it is evident that I do live in a valley surrounded by high and low mountains, the Santa Cruz mountains being the most prominent and lush with green trees and bushes year round. To the east of the area that I live in, the mountains have been very dry and lifeless during the last few years due to drought and warmer climate year round. The reason I believe Santa Cruz Mountains stay lush and green is because it is closer to the ocean where as the mountains to the east of me are more located in a centralized area on the land making them more drier and lifeless. In regards to the topography of the land I live around it is overall very flat and suburban area. The closer you get to the mountains you can encounter areas with slope and hills encompassed man altered land as well as forested land. In terms of hydrology and regulatory floodways in my area, we rely more on drainage systems, due to low rainfall we don’t have to worry bout flooding because of the flat surface of land we are located on. When it gets to the soil of the land I live around it is mostly healthy but condensed around man made structures, but many plants and bugs still thrive off this soil. Otherwise my area has specific areas of farmland towards the outskirts of town where soil is specifically maintained for vegetation and agricultural needs year round. In regards to vegetation it is mostly comprised of many different types of plants and bugs that thrive off it once again. But due to much man-altered developments on the prairie land the further you get away from the more you can see the vegetation thrive. The effects of climate change have also brought forward many problems in the area in which I live in. The most notable on is drought. Due to low rainfall last four years it has influenced residents in my area to encounter a sharp rise in brush fires as well as mandatory water cut backs because of shortage of water supply. Excessive heat and drought have also impacted the agricultural industry in my area as well which economically also is impacting us as food prices spike.
    Two major elements of the built environment, which are not properly implemented in my area, would be green space and access to transportation that could impact the quality of people’s lives. In my area green space is something that has been always something hard to find. Everything in my area requires you to drive there since I was a child. If my friends and I wanted to go to a park and play some ball, it would literally be a forty-five minute walk to do so. Recently the California drought ha also not helped with all the green spaces going dry because of lack of water supply and hotter climate year round. In regards to the transportation it is hard to find it to be honest. While the city makes great efforts to upgrade the transportation it is still under funded and takes forever to get from point A to B. Bus stops can be inconveniently far and require riders to plan hours and hours ahead of time to accommodate to it. It is fair to say that my area is built more for cars than transportation and for people what cannot afford a car this brings issues to the table in that sense. The bus stops can also be located in awkward areas requiring riders to have to further commute to their destination. I think it is important that my city looks at transportation of London or South Korea to influence fewer cars on the road and better transportation and convenience for everyone’s transportation needs.

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  7. Steven Childs
    Sustainability of the Natural and Built Environment

    So I currently live in the city of Daly City, in the Westlake neighborhood. To understand Daly City a bit better, its best to look at the history of Daly City and the Westlake area. So in the late 1800’s many San Franciscans would come to Daly City to gamble because of gambling being illegal in San Francisco at the time. During this time, with its close proximity to San Francisco, there was a small land rush of people coming to purchase farm land. After the rush of settlers, the area of Westlake was predominantly farms for cattle. During the 1906 earthquake many refugees from San Francisco began moving to Daly city, making the city larger and larger. It wasn’t until after WWII that a man named Henry Doelger, came to the Westlake area and began buying the land out from the farmers and creating what is now known as the suburban sprawl. Mr. Doelger is also well known in San Francisco for establishing what is known as the Sunset district. So Daly City started out as the land of sinners, making it a refugee for gamblers and drinkers, then a farming community, to what it now is, which is the cookie cutter type housing development. Post WWII was a time of great urban sprawl in this area. With Daly City’s close proximity to San Francisco it provided the perfect blue collar town for commuters going into the city. Developers in this time gave little regard for sustainability, and did what was most important for the economy, and equity, rather than the ecology. Where I am situated is about half of a mile from Thorton State Beach. This beach is protected by the State of California and really plays a large part in my community. Many people in my neighborhood use this natural environment in their daily lives as a form of recreation, exercise, and public gathering. The built environment of Daly city and specifically the Westlake area is box like housing, with the Westlake Shopping center being the central hub of the community in terms of the built environment. With many shops, restaurants, and supply stores many people never have to leave their Westlake neighborhood for needed items. At night the parking lot of Westlake empties and provides as a meeting point for many drivers of exotic cars to come and meet with each other and show off their cars. So beyond what the built environment has given us, Westlake shopping center is being used as a social point of interest within this car community, with its close access to highway 1 and the 280.

    The area I live in is widely separated by rolling hills of housing developments. The drawback from this is all of the cul-de-sacs, courts, winding small roads, which is extremely inefficient for public transportation. Buses are quite infrequent in this area and only go until around 11-12 pm. There is one BART station in Daly City which provides us with a public means of getting to other parts of the bay area. The BART is the Bay Area Rapid Transit system of trains and sometimes busses throughout the bay area. Many people have complained about the safety of the bart trains at night, and a huge issue that BART is working on right now is adjusting to the influx of people that have begun to use it. The bay area is growing in population but not in size. The BART system is working on compensating for this population growth by creating sustainable train interior designs to accommodate this growing issue. The current trains that run through the bay area including Daly city are extremely old, loud, and dirty. If the BART system were to fix this issue, it would make it much more rider friendly and would be more attractive to people to use it rather than driving to get around the bay area. The way I see it, if the trains were updated we would see a higher satisfaction rate of users, thus more people would want to use it, leaving less traffic on the streets. With the update in the bart system there needs to be an update with the bus system in Daly City as well. There needs to be more bus stops within the neighborhoods, and more frequent times of the buses arriving. This would increase the Economy, Equity, and Environment of Daly City.

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  8. 1.) I live in San Francisco’s Sunset district, a large expanse of single family homes on the western side of the city, between 19th avenue and the Pacific ocean. Looking back at historical arial photos of this portion of the city (~1930’s) you can clearly see that the entire district was made up of sand dunes before development took place. Now that the district is completely developed (paved) the sand dune soil doesn’t seem to provide any issue in daily life to the inland portion of the area; however, there is a significant environmental component that effects the western edge, and that is the Pacific Ocean and Ocean Beach. At ocean beach there is a swath of sand dunes that remains undeveloped. The natural habit of these sand dunes is to grow, shift, and move inland as the waves and wind shape them. In the early 1900’s the city constructed “The Great Highway” which runs right through all of these shifting sand dunes. The highway is heavily traveled by locals and tourists. Due to the sand dune’s natural habit there is a consistent effort for them to try and cover the highway in sand. The highway is closed several times a year (especially after storms) to remove sand from the road which unfortunately blocks traffic. The Great Highway gets high marks for equity because it provides quick access for cars and pedestrians to some of the most beautiful parts on the western edge of the city. However, it gets low marks for the environmental and economic aspects because it destroyed the habitat of beach dwelling plants, an endangered species of bird (the snowy plover) and it is very costly to constantly remove and manage the shifting dunes.

    2.) One major element of the built environment that is crucial for sustainable development is public transportation. The area where I live is very close to the MUNI railcar line that goes from the SF zoo to Embarcadero station. The railcar is equitable for most residents because it is a convenient and affordable way to get across the city (with discounted rates for low income people). I would argue that one inequity about it would be to the people that live near the tracks. The railcar is very loud and shakes the ground up to about 200ft away. This effect is minimal in comparison to the benefits of the system, but it still disrupts the living and working areas of people that live near the tracks. A (if not the) most important aspect of a sustainable built environment is housing. In san francisco the housing situation is bordering a crisis. During my life I have watched buildings pop up all over the city to accommodate the influx of tech companies. while the companies grew, so did the number of people that needed to live by their jobs. This is where the city planning department has failed. New housing development has not met demand. The majority of new housing that is being built is in the form of luxury high rises in the southeast portion of the city. The city’s housing development is not “justainable” at all. I have watched large portions of the low income areas slowly migrate to the east bay, leaving San Francisco devoid of so much character and diversity it used to have. San francisco needs to allow development of environmentally friendly housing for low and mid income people.

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  9. The environmental components San Francisco is influenced by topography, hydrology, and geology factors. San Francisco is well-known for its many hills and mini mountains all over the city. This has influenced many of the people that lives here, maybe not so much the natives as they are probably very well used to the hills but more in terms of transportation. When I am in the city, I find it difficult to navigate and get around places especially on foot. I would also imagine it not being bicycle friendly in some parts of the city. Also since there are many hills, architects have to take into consideration the slopes and build the right structure. They need to consider the drainage system and how people would have access to the building if it’s located on hills.
    The other component affecting people’s lives is hydrology. San Francisco is part of the SF Bay Delta Watershed. SF has to follow stormwater managements in order to prevent pollutants from entering our waterways. This ultimately protects the water quality, public health and lives of wildlife residing in SF. Because of the water pollution and sewage spills, Bay Area Fishes are also affected.
    As we know, San Francisco is vulnerable to earthquakes. This is because of the soil types in SF. The soil mostly contains if mud, sands, sandstones, artificial fill and etc. The different soil types affects the sites variously during earthquakes which in turn may make it worse for the people living in the areas.
    In my opinion, the quality of life is definitely influenced by cost of living, such as rent and also the cleanliness of the city overall. Rent all over San Francisco is incredibly high especially in the neighborhoods surrounding the colleges in sf this includes Daly CIty. Most of the people I know are struggling to pay for their rent while simultaneously paying for their education. The unaffordable housing another reason for the growing homeless population. Another one that I have noticed is the dirty streets of San Francisco. Mostly in the Downtown and Mission Area. When walking around these areas, it’s hard not to notice the trash in the streets. By cleaning up the streets, the overall health of people in San Francisco would get better.

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  10. Simon Wannehag Hagene

    1) Environmental Components: Glen Canyon Park

    Quality. Everything we consume has a certain quality to it- so has the water, air and land we are in use of. With planning we can make sure our involvement doesn’t become harmful for the natural processes existing in our environments. In urban areas we create parks, plant trees and build green spaces meant to enhance our quality of life. However, there are different point of views on what are the best methods and which environmental benefits are most sought for.

    Glen Canyon Park
    In San Francisco there are many parks and recreational areas, the nearest one in my area being Glen Canyon Park. It’s a large urban canyon(s-shaped with long-term stability), where you get the sense of being far out from the city; both nature and wildlife is blossoming. It’s been a long-time effort to preserve and protect this area from external threats such as roads, residential and commercial actors, etc. The result is a place where animals can thrive in a safer habitat, and people can take a break from the stressful factors of cars’ exhaustion and noise.
    Since it’s hidden away from the busiest streets of the city, there seems to be a clear stability of its ecosystem. A waterway(small river) is running through the lower part of the canyon, contributing to the lush greenery and wet soils. There’s specific routes to follow, in order to avoid disturbance of the natural settings. Furthermore, signs with rules have been set up for use of the park, which creates awareness in order to lessen any damage made upon entering. A recreation center has been built on the lower side of the canyon, with a baseball field, playground, tennis court, etc. It’s a well-thought of combination to make it a place for those wanting to stay active, not something meant for profit.

    Without doubt, there’s a greater quality within the space when it’s as large as this, making me wonder whether perhaps there’s a need for bigger, connecting parks in the city? Outside of the park, there are many trees and smaller spaces, but they’ve got nowhere near the same environmental benefits.

    2) Built Environment: Noe Valley

    Water stations. The number one essential key to sustainable development, is how we treat our waters, nonetheless how we create access to it. If everyone was able to tap up water around every corner, there would not be a need to go buy any bottles from the shop(on every corner). It certainly encourages a healthier lifestyle, moreover, a less pollutive strategy away from wasteful plastics. This would be what we call justainability, because in my opinion, there is no justice in making profit of people’s basic needs.
    Bikeability. There is a concerning lack of safe pathways for bicyclists, both in terms of having to share the road with cars and buses, as well as having to cough out all the exhaustion along the way. It impacts people’s life in such a way that most people end up not using their bicycle for every day purposes. I believe we would need to drastically decrease the amount of cars and parking spaces, in order to take back the streets for pedestrians, bicyclists and create more greenery. Some streets could even transform into smaller parks. Anything is possible, if we plan for it.

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  11. Jose Flores
    USP 514

    1) I think that the most significant components influencing the area in where I live is earthquakes and the lack of water. Earthquakes have done a lot of damage in the Bay Area. The Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed houses, building, and streets along the northern west coast. Just the other day there was an earthquake in Piedmont, California of magnitude 3.5. In the Bay Area there is a fault line that runs through the edge of Hayward, CA. Scientists that study earthquakes have said that if a big one hits it could make a crack on the fault line. The soil in San Francisco along the bay is soft. It is interesting because San Francisco skyscrapers are built all along the bay. For the builders to find good soil they would have to drill deep enough to find stable soil. A lot of the workforce works in financial district so it makes it a little dangerous to work there but I guess the good benefits outweighs the bad. It is also interesting how most people want to live around the bay area even though it is so expensive and most susceptible to earthquakes.
    Another environmental component that is influencing the area I live in is the drought. This component influences people’s lives in how they live. One thing we seem to forget is that there are towns and cities that need water to grow their crops for us to have food. If there is no water then those companies have to use their own water which increases the price in food. Instead of using rainwater to water their lawns people are using their own water which makes their water bill higher. These environmental components pertain to this area and may be different in other parts of the world.

    2) Two major elements of the built environment that is crucial to sustainable development are
    buildings and how space is used. The majority of the buildings that have been designed are not sustainable. There has been improvement but it is not as sustainable as they should be. Many factors come into play when planning to design a building such as; the community, soil, environment, location, and cost. My parents live in the valley and in some cities around there is susceptible to flooding; yet there are houses being built there. The people who live in those areas are asked to get flood insurance. In San Francisco along the bay the soil there is soft yet there are skyscrapers being built. It is dangerous because the bay area is known for earthquakes and if one hits that ground is going to sink because of the soft soil.
    Another major element that is crucial to sustainable development is how space is being used. The population is growing every year so new development has to be built to house all those people. Families grow and not all want to raise a family in the city so they move out to the suburbs. The freeway system is a piece of development that has linked the city to the suburbs and has changed how space is used. In a city where is no need for cars because the public transportation system is available. In the suburbs the majority of the people rely on cars which contribute to the carbon emissions in the atmosphere. One solution can be to create new development near public transit or to extend public transit to developed cities and towns.

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  12. 1. The city of San Francisco has a reputation surrounding its natural features, particularly its location on a peninsula and infamous hills. The topography of San Francisco is particularly relevant for urban planning as there are many hills and inclines in this city. The range goes from sea level at the beach to the highest peak out of 47: Mount Davidson’s height of 283 meters. These fluctuations in elevation affect the way the people of this city live because it limits the type of transit we can rely on. For someone to rely on a bicycle for transportation they must know the layout of the city and find a route that doesn’t put them onto too many hills. Automobiles and public transit are a better option to conquer the hills if you need to go up a large incline as it can be a challenge by foot.

    The soil and geology of the city is also noteworthy. Much of the city’s base layer is sand, with large rock formations make from ancient bedrock forming peaks in some points. Twin Peaks is an example of such and it show’s the land’s past as being on the ocean floor. Sand is unstable and difficult to build on top of so it is important to make sure the foundations of buildings are secure. Additionally, along the southern border of the city along the bay the land mass was created by garbage being piled up and built over. This is extremely unstable and poor for development.

    As the city is surrounded by an ocean on one side and a bay by the other it is at extreme treat of sea level rise by climate change. Since the edges of the city are at sea level there is a high change of losing the current dimensions of the city. This along with the bayside garbage filling that is porous mean that housing would be threatened for at least thousands of the 837,442 residents that reside in these 49 square miles.

    2. In the San Francisco Bay Area it is it a core value to its inhabitants to reduce pollution and keep space for natural spaces but it does not happen as much as it should. So many residents in the region are exposed to environmental hazards and have their health and lifespans diminished because of it. It is overwhelmingly low income people that are affected by this. For example, the Hunters Point-Bayview district of southeast San Francisco is home to the highest rates of breast and cervical cancer in the nation. It is no surprise that the residents of the neighborhood are largely black. The source is the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard which is a toxic waste site that puts asbestos, lead, and radioactive materials into the community. The yard was abandoned after World War II and remains a site marked for cleanup by the EPA.

    This issue, among other injustices in the Bay Area, are environmental injustices. The concept of justainability includes the idea that communities of color must be at the front of our priorities on our path to create a more sustainable world. Sustainability doesn’t exist if wealthy and whiter neighborhoods have their LEED certified public buildings and houses made out of responsibly harvested wood if low income communities are burdened by the exploitation of industry and use their neighborhoods as dumping grounds for pollutants. We can only move forward if we do better for the communities that truly need immediate change.

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  13. Daniel Rodarte
    USP 514

    1. I currently live in San Francisco. There are an abundance of ecosystems that lie within the city. But what is consistent about the city is that there are a significant amount of hills that fill the area. The presidio is one of the most beautiful sites in San Francisco. It attracts tourists and locals alike. The geology around San Francisco is due to the Pacific and North American plates and the amount of force they are pushing on each other. The rocks that underlie the presidio go back to millions of years ago. Today, sediments reside on these rocks. Which formed thousands of years ago when sea levels were higher. They are also covered by sand dunes, which can also help with flood control. On another note, San Francisco is also known for having many earthquakes. Some places in San Francisco experience stronger shaking than others. This is due to the ground being really soft. When the soil is soft, the stronger the shaking will be. There are many neighborhoods in this town that have soft soil, which is not a good thing to have when earthquakes hit. In terms of vegetation, San Francisco consists of a broad spectrum of plant diversity. It is home to many endangered and threatened species that exists in communities such as grasslands, forests, coastal shrub, and coastal dunes. One of the major hubs in San Francisco that consists of these communities is Golden Gate Park. This area was placed in the middle of San Francisco. It is home to Bison, a variety of plants, and recreation areas. It is a huge open space where tourists and people from around the area go to have a nice day in the sun. This park contributes to people forming a community in the area thus making the area a better place to live

    2. Like many other people in San Francisco, I enjoy riding my bike throughout the city. Riding your bicycle is beneficial in so many ways, it is almost a no brainer that we should not have cars in the city. If more people ride their bicycle, the amount of emissions would decrease because more cars would be off of the road. There is also a community within people who ride their bikes. There are a lot of events throughout the city that involve riding your bike etc. Riding your bike also helps you get in shape. The problem with cycling is that people do not feel safe riding in San Francisco. In order to make the city to become more sustainable, we need to implement more bike lanes, and less car lanes. If we implemented more bike lanes throughout the city, more people would feel safer to ride. The second element that San Francisco needs to improve on is listening to the people. A lot of contractors come in and build as they please without taking into account what the local people want or need in their area. People continue to be neglected in places with low income.

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  14. a) I currently live in a crowded and urban city–San Francisco, and the heart of Bay Area has so many special features in terms of the natural environment study. San Francisco is a costal city located between Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, so it’s watersheds system has a great influence of the surrounding ocean regarding to Hydrological study. The coastal city has always been threatened by potential tsunamis, and that caused our building constructions become required to prepare the unexpected natural disasters, also our sewer system’s design needed to have more considerations than mainland cities in terms of flooding potentials. However, the city has one special element that influences my life so much. It’s special topographical structure somehow restricts so many possibilities in our land use and city planning. San Francisco’s layout was created based on a hilly structure. Therefore, most of the streets were very steep, and that have a big effect on my daily life. I am a person who usually rides bike to most places as long as I could, but hilly city’ shape of San Francisco actually discourages me to ride in the city because even riding on just one to two steep street usually drain all my energy already. Perhaps the only benefit is to let me get some extra exercises, but it becomes very inconveniencing to me since I always need to go to different places in rush. Except that, my neighborhood is located at the top part of the hill, so the weather (or Climate Change) is always foggy and windy. That makes me always feel less energetic and outgoing since the weather somehow makes me upset and bored.
    b) San Francisco is a very urban city, so most of the economic activities are relied on finance and business. The residents of San Francisco usually have very few chances to get in touch with nature in the city. However, I always think in which way that the people in San Francisco can have more opportunities to get involved with nature rather than just boring concrete constructions. I think San Francisco can try to work on the development of Vegetation and Soils in terms of natural environment study. Indeed San Francisco does not have anymore spare lands for farming in order to produce grains or vegetables, but many people’s backyards are not well used or just unused. In a perspective of sustainable development, I advocate that people’s backyards can be used to produce vegetables or fruits with proper cares and knowledgeable planting skills. San Francisco’s special Hydrological system causes its soils always being moist and desirable for some certain agricultural products, but the only matter is we don’t have enough lands to do so. At the same time, the government could educate people how and what should they plant at their backyards with professional knowledge in order to increase the sufficiency of producing. If everyone who live in San Francisco could produce some or enough vegetation for themselves in their backyards, we can somehow improve their foods safety and health. That would be a kind of sustainable development I would like to see to be happened in San Francisco if people may have award on the potential use of their backyards’ lands.

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  15. I currently live in Ingleside, which is located south west in San Francisco. In early history, Ingleside was covered in scrub land. Today you still find sandy soil in the backyards of many people. The land was used by native americans for hunting and gathering until 1769, when the first european settlers took over. They started to alter the land, building roads and houses. Ingleside is now a mix of single family homes, streets and some businesses.
    People living in Ingleside are mostly affected by the suburbanization and low density housing, that has drastically altered the natural ecosystem of Ingleside. The neighborhood has small to no public green spaces. Within close proximity to my house, there is a soccer field with a playground, a small community garden and some trees. Urban green spaces are suppose to include both biological benefits, such as habitat for flora and fauna, and also social benefits including recreational opportunities. Ingleside offers recreational opportunities to children and young adults, especially in regards to physical exercise. It gives children an outlet to go out and meet with friends.
    Yet, the park fails to address biological benefits. The playground is made out of plastic structures, while the soccer field was build with artificial grass. Children are not exposed to nature and its wonders, missing out on some valuable knowledge. Additionally, Ingleside is lacking species diversity. When I step out of the house, I rarely see any animal, except for the occasional cat. This has negative impacts on people’s mind, because it is making us believe that humans are the only species living here giving us a sense of isolation. We do not have any butterflies flying around, that kids could study. Instead, children stare at their phone and play Pokemon Go because that is the only reality that presents them with some type of animals.
    Another environmental component that is people is the infrastructure that Ingleside is build upon. As mentioned, it is relatively widespread and predominantly covered with single family homes. The only park in the neighborhood provides little recreational opportunities for families and wildlife. Most people own cars and drive to wherever they have to go. We do not have any vegetation on the street level that could offset the exhaustion produced by the cars. Even I find myself wondering sometimes if I should get a car. Green spaces should be accessible by walking. If I want to go to the closest park, I have to wait for muni (that doesn’t always show up) and switch busses, which can take 30 – 40 minutes.
    A crucial change that would improve Ingleside is providing a green space that not only provides families with spaces for recreation, but also heterogeneity that will provide wildlife a safe space to thrive. In order for the neighborhood to become sustainable and provide people with a better quality of life, green spaces need to be expanded and connected. People should not have to get into a car or bus, in order to get to a park. The soccer field is very isolated from the rest of the green spaces, and everytime there is a soccer game, many people drive their cars, because it is inaccessible. Additionally, the park needs to have more vertical vegetational diversity to attract species.
    Another important factor is community involvement. In order to have sustainable involvement, the community needs to take charge on many of the issue the neighborhood faces. Sustainable green spaces require a lot of work and need to be individually managed based on their needs. The only people who know the needs and are always present, are people living in the neighborhood. I think this kind of community engagement would solve some of the social issues we are facing. We have a lot of drug dealers and other criminal things happening. Engaging everyone would create a better sense of community and eventually clean up the neighborhood because people wouldn’t feel the need to escape reality through drugs. I personally don’t know anyone in my neighborhood and I think it is upsetting. Many families are isolated in their homes. Part of sustainability is communal connectedness, and I think having the community working together on such big project can only be beneficial. It would also create jobs, making people stay local to their homes, instead of commuting miles with their cars.

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  16. Tretten Hagen USP. 514
    1. The environment it self and he Built Environment play a large roll in how social interaction takes place throughout the world. Many things such as Temperature, geographical aspects and resource availability will determine how people interact with the environment. There are many factors in which the environment can affect people. Although in my perspective the most significant environmental component that affect people each day in my region is general transportation. Transportation includes, vehicles, roads/freeways/interstates, as well as how it formats certain aspects to the built environment. Today’s society relies heavily on the options of mobility and is almost surrounded in an environment where cars have much more importance than other regions of the world. Not only does transportation affect people through mobility and option but also it affects how society interacts and is separated in certain aspects. Certain regions such as the central valley are very dependent on transportation. Even to the extent the certain neighborhoods aren’t even accessible without transportation in some cases. One common example of this could be the idea or “Cookie Cutter Housing” which makes sense in an economic standpoint but not in a social interaction ideal. This would be my environmental.
    2. Two elements that play a large roll in how the built environment works could be transportation. “ In this day and age” As well as housing especially in my region of which I live currently. The reason I say Transportation is because today society is heavily dependent on transportation. In San Francisco many people commute for jobs due to the lack of affordable housing, which makes transportation a very aspect in which the city can operate. Unfortunate with population on the rise and expenses of living Housing has become a predominate crisis among all aspects of society. In my USP-530 Class we learn a lot about housing and which areas have been change due to demographics such as a common discussed topic of Gentrification. This happens because of economics as well as wealth distribution.

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  17. One other aspect to the region in which i live and how the Built Environment is affected has direct relation to land use and planning. In many ways a whole reformation may need to take place in order to make a region sustainable although this would take a lot of time and planning throughout the development and growth of technology. Although just an addition i do believe that the way in which we contruct our environment through land use is a great reason to why many regions may now be sustainable to its full extent.

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  18. San Francisco is an interesting city from an environmental perspective in that it has many pros and cons in regards to this aspect. On one hand, it is home to some of the country’s most progressive environmental policies in regards to waste management, renewable energy sourcing, and public transportation. On the other hand, San Francisco is an extremely altered ecosystem, with high rates of gentrification, lack of affordable housing, and with hazardous waste disproportionately affecting lower income communities of color. San Francisco seems to be a city of contrasts in many ways, a big city that’s simultaneously quite small. With tons of natural beauty but also much more that has been taken away. With extreme amounts of wealth, but also extreme numbers of people without homes. With some great environmental policies, but also some environmental disasters. San Francisco is a perfect example of the complex interactions and lack thereof between economics, ecology, and equity.
    I’ve only lived in San Francisco for a year, and in that time I’ve moved around three different neighborhoods. For the first few months I lived downtown in what was referred to as the “Tender-nob” — being the area where the Tenderloin meets Nob Hill. After that I moved to Parkside/Sunset for about seven months, and only recently moved onto campus last month. Each of these neighborhoods have unique environmental and social aspects to them that I’ll try to explore in more detail.
    The Tendernob is an interesting place to live, and a good example of inequity within San Francisco. While Nob Hill is a relatively expensive place to live in San Francisco (as if there are any inexpensive places to live here), it is right next to the Tenderloin – which is home to many people without homes, akin to Los Angeles’ Skid Row in my opinion. This intersection between luxury and basic needs is a sad and literal depiction of San Francisco’s wealth inequality that has surged in recent years. According to what I’ve been told from many locals, much of the extreme gentrification that has come about in the last five years is due to the nearby presence of Silicon Valley and the invasion of the techies. Before this San Francisco wasn’t necessarily cheap, but at least lower-income renters could afford to live in some neighborhoods within the city – although many of which have negative health impacts which will be mentioned later. Now many lower-income renters have been pushed out from even these neighborhoods through evictions, arson, and skyrocketing rent.
    After a few months of living in the Tendernob, I moved to the Sunset – a more suburban neighborhood with slightly “cheaper” housing. The Sunset seems to be a predominantly Asian community, but as more students search for nearby housing to State and other San Franciscans look for cheaper rents, this community is also at risk of gentrifying (although it seems to be happening at a much slower rate than say the Mission). Built on top of sand dunes, the Western half of this city isn’t the most geologically stable nor ecologically intact, and as with many parts of San Francisco, it is more prone to rising sea levels in the future.
    I recently moved to State, and while this was an affordable option for myself because I was hired on as a Resident Assistant, it isn’t affordable for many other students at SFSU. One in ten CSU students is homeless or has unstable housing, and one in five have food insecurities. College is expensive, and this city is even more so – this doesn’t allow for many prospective students to reasonably afford an education at SFSU. So while my campus housing may have adequate access to natural areas, public transportation, and nearby amenities, it is not affordable for many students or no students that live in the community. I live in UPN, which is mostly student housing, but also has some tenants that have lived here for years, but are slowly being pushed out. While I am told that they are not being evicted, SFSU gradually taking over this neighborhood is certainly something to think over.
    All of the places I have lived in San Francisco have had access to public transportation and other public amenities such as shopping and parks (some better than others obviously), and all of which are experiencing varying degrees of rent instability and inequitable housing. Two key aspects important to the built environment are accessible public transportation and affordable housing – something San Francisco has partially right but mostly wrong. Saying that San Francisco has a good public transportation system is only acceptable under American standards wherein most cities have almost none. San Francisco’s public transportation is far too expensive for daily users, with monthly passes (without special qualifications) ranging from $70-86 dollars depending on whether BART is included or not. When I lived downtown it took me an hour to get to school and $70/month, and to be honest that was difficult for me to afford. On that note, the subway/lightrail system is outdated and very slow compared to some other major cities. While I appreciate that San Francisco has some public transportation in place that is far better to many American cities, it has a lot of room to improve. San Francisco’s hilly geography makes public transportation projects difficult to complete, but all the more necessary given the needs of people with disabilities.
    As noted before, San Francisco has a small amount of land and exorbitant rent prices due in large part to the tech industry’s gentrification. While there are some requirements to build affordable housing, it seems as though there are far too many “market rate” (which is high) and luxury high rises being built rather than housing for lower-income peoples. While high rises may accommodate more people, this is insufficient if most people cannot afford to live in them. San Francisco is rapidly pushing out lower income renters, which is disproportionately affecting communities of color. Not “justainable” at all. Furthermore, San Francisco’s lower-income communities of color have historically lived in more polluted neighborhoods – take Bayview Hunters Point as an example. Radioactive naval vessels were dumped in the late 60’s on this predominantly African-American community, and is now deemed a Superfund Site. In conjunction with the pollutants from the nearby power plant, Bayview is a clear example of environmental racism at work in San Francisco.
    Without adequate public transportation and affordable housing options, a city becomes a recipe for the privileged elite in all regards. Owning cars is not a viable option for many people, whether it be physical or financial constraints, or simply the fact of traffic congestion, cities need to have public transportation that serves the needs of all its communities (not just specific sections). Without affordable housing options, cities become a place for the wealthy elite and no place for lower-income workers, students, and everyone else. Due to the racist history of America, gentrification not only pushes out lower-income renters, but systematically targets people of color who are a disproportionately large percentage of these renters. San Francisco is rapidly becoming full of rich white techies ubering from one gentrified neighborhood to the next, and is an example of why affordable housing and accessible public transportation are key to sustainable development.

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  19. I’m currently living in the mission district of San Francisco. There are some areas of environmental component that the city does right in my opinion. One area is how there many parks in most neighborhoods in the city. Most of the good parks in the city are located in the middle of the streets where there are houses around rather then put them in downtown or just built a big park in one city. I believe an important part for building a sustainable environment is there has to be some parks in many city. It builds healthy and happier environment for the people in cities because they have easy access of going outside and being more active. In addition, the city does best to build some parks where people are able to enjoy the beautiful view in the city. SF understands that in order to attract people to actually go into parks and enjoy it is by the interesting design and the location of them. One example of a park where I live in my area is Dolores park. The city planners did an excellent job in building this park where it has a become an attraction for everyone who comes into the city. The park Is right in the middle of the district where’s there’s a community and neighborhood. It is built in a curved hill where people can go and enjoy the view or the sunset on romantic dates, and most importantly it’s spacious for everyone. In the class lecture we discuss what works best to design a sustainable environment in the city which one of the includes just building a big park out a of downtown and in the city. I disagreed with that planning since I think for a sustainable development that influences people is building diverse parks in the city. That’s what I love about the SF, that there so many varieties of sizes of parks and design you can enjoyed. One day you can be at a park enjoying the view of the historic Victorian houses, and another day you can enjoy the view of the buildings of the financial district in the middle of a sunset.

    I think one element of a sustainable environment that SF and in the mission does not implement and that is crucial in building a long term sustainable place is that the city struggles in keeping the city clean. It impacts that the lives of people because I don’t think it’s healthy for people to be smelling urine and smog everyday when they go outside. It’s unsustainable that people who go outside the streets it’s always dirty such as in the mission streets. One is excuse is sure you can blame the dirty streets on the homeless people, but they are so many other cities who are dealing with the same issue , yet their cities are not as dirty as the one in SF. It is crucial for a city to be clean because it can critically create diseases and impact the health being of others who live in the city. Another issue is that the city does not implement is that the city is still relies on driving. One thing SF does well is that is an active city were people go outside and be active or go on their bikes. Also, the transportation is somewhat reliable even thought is dirty and full of urine. But at the end of the day most people drive in the city and is not helping the problem of climate change. There’s always parking spots full and the traffic in the city is ridiculous, but not as bad as in LA. A Change of climate will not happened in SF if people still very heavily drive in the city, regardless how green SF want to be.

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  20. Erosion is an influential and significant environmental component to the Bay Area, specifically communities located directly on the coast such as Pacifica. Although beach side real estate is desirable for many, increasing sea level and erosion has made living right by the beach impossible. Developing on areas that are so close to the sea must take natural events into consideration such as El Nino, which can greatly influence the coastal landscape with massive waves that increase the rate of erosion. Pacifica declared a state of emergency in January of this year that ordered forty residents to leave their homes. City officials judged their homes to be too close to the vertical face of the cliff. This left three vacant apartment buildings barely holding their ground on the edge of an 80- foot cliff. Heavy rain and big surf pounded the base of the cliff, which caused huge chunks of dirt to break off, leaving the cliff unsafe for residents to stay in their homes. The city attempted to slow the effects of erosion by piling tons of rocks on the beach, drilling reinforcement rods into the cliff and adding a fiber- reinforced concrete coating to some parts. These attempts however were not enough to hold the cliff together. What happened to this neighborhood in Pacifica will surely continue to happen to coastal communities in the Bay Area and all over the world. So, even though developers may want to continue to develop along beaches and coastlines, it’s not sustainable. Coastal erosion is just one example of an environmental component that directly influences the area where I live.

    A major element of the built environment that is crucial to sustainable development in the long term is reducing pollution and creating a balance between built and natural systems. In my opinion, this has not been done properly in regards to roadways. There should be more trees and plants located on all roads including major highways. Environmentally speaking, these trees would consume a large quantity of the CO2 being emitted by cars, creating a system of checks and balances, and heavily reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, rainwater would be reabsorbed into the ground, replenishing the aquifers rather than just collecting on the pavement and then being washed down storm drains. Planting more greenery along otherwise mundane roads would also make streets more pleasant to drive down and would increase their overall beauty. Another element of the built environment that is crucial to sustainable development is the protection of historic, cultural and environmental resources. This is currently being tested by the proposal to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline. If the project is approved, 500,000 barrels of crude would be transported from North Dakota to Illinois. This project is not sustainable by any means, and although it is not located in the Bay Area, it would certainly affect us here in the Bay if it’s approved. First off, this project threatens to run through land considered sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe among many others. It also threatens to contaminate fresh water sources if a leak or break in the pipeline occurs. Also, the construction of this $3.8 Billion project continues to feed our addiction to fossil fuels rather than attempt to find a better source of renewable energy. It seems as though everything about this project contradicts the aspect of sustainable development mentioned above. It threatens historic and cultural resources as well as environmental resources. It’s currently being faced with much opposition, which will hopefully be successful in shutting it down entirely.

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  21. sorry this is was turned in late because I forgot I had homework and I was busy with other stuff but here is my homework 2:

    USP 514 HW#2
    1) Based on lecture and discussions in class some sustainable development components that is more relevant to the area that I live in is the topography of San Francisco Bay Area, Hydrology, and Soil Erosion
    . The topography of San Francisco Bay Area has a lot of hills and water around it. The topography of San Francisco can cause problems to happen in San Francisco Bay Area like earthquakes and erosion. It can cause earthquakes since San Francisco Bay Area is in faults like the San Andrea’s and Hayward Fault. Since San Francisco Bay Area near these faults earthquakes can happen pretty often. When there is an earthquake erosion can happen as well. Since San Francisco isn’t just surrounded by hills and water they’re also many places in San Francisco that has erosion problems. Soil Erosion’s can happen if someone in San Francisco Bay Area is traveling since near freeways and highways there are signs that say beware of erosion. Erosion can cause problems to human beings because erosion comes from soil and without soil plants can’t grow and human beings can’t eat food since the food we eat comes from plants and animals that eat plants. Hydrology is another relevant component that happen in San Francisco Since we are surrounded by a lot of water we can use the water for energy instead of burning fossil fuels which is a better idea for human beings. If human beings can find a way to diverse from fossil fuels and use energy from water it will save the environment and climate. However, it can also cause problems to other living organisms that need to water to survive. If we use the water where organisms required to live we may need to dam the water but then it can cause harm to animals or other living organisms which is also bad for environment.

    2) The place where I live is the Ocean Ave, San Francisco, California. The place I live in is really crucial and sustainable to the environment. Some examples in my area that is sustainable and crucial to the environment is that most houses in my neighborhood has 3 bins for waste. Blue one for recycle, black one for trash, and green one for compose. In our neighborhood most people including my family know how to distribute our waste into the three different bins instead of throwing all the waste in one bin which is really good for environment We also use tab water instead of plastic water bottles if we want to water so we won’t have to use so much plastic and cause problems to the environment. Even though it is a good idea that all of us know how to distribute waste the right order, but the compose bags for the green bag is really expensive compare to trash and recycle bags. The cost is $0.20 per bag and not a lot of people can afford it so some people don’t distribute the waste the right order because of the pricing. If it was cheaper like $0.10 per bag more people will distribute waste the right order. Another example is in our neighborhood we have the K car that runs from anywhere in my neighborhood all the way to third street or Sunnyvale. Having the K car is sustainable and conventional because for me it is right outside my house like half a block down. Every time I go somewhere like school or work I can just take the K because it is environmentally save and accessible. However, some problems that the K has is that it takes a really long time to come and people have to wait and it can cause stress because they maybe late to work, school,and etc. It is also really loud and disturb people when they are asleep. If we can make the K come more often I think more people will take it and save the environment and stop climate change and also if we can make the K softer maybe people can relax and sleep.

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  22. When we think of the different components of sustainable development we must look at it through an environmental, social, and economic lens. The success of sustainable development is contingent on three pillars: environment, economics and social impact. Observing the relationship between these different concepts determines the best and smartest path towards sustainable development.
    A social aspect of sustainable development would deal with quality of life, education, law and ethics and community development. An economic standpoint would considers smart growth and cost of living. And last we have the environmental lens, which would look at resource management, environmental protection, and habitat restoration and preservation.
    It goes without saying that sustainable development is very prevalent in our lives. From social aspects to economic, sustainable development plays a massive role in our past, present, and future. A current example could be environmental equality and the lack of mutual respect for different races. Every human being no matter their race, income, or age, has the right to live in a home, neighborhood, and city that promotes wellness and good health. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for some time and around the world people are dealing with horrible living conditions. We live in a world that does not stick to a fair distribution of environmental problems and benefits. Another concept of sustainable development that I think is the most growing movement today is education on the fact. We are only now starting to talk about the environmental issues going on around the world and educating the public on it. Only through education on the environmental issues can we hope to further our efforts in sustainable development. With the support of the science community and hard based facts we are now able to spread the word on exactly whats going on and instigate public involvement.


  23. (1) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life.

    Current living in Daly City, there are quite a few environmental factors that influence my lifestyle. As far as transportation, I feel that that is a major thing not only in San Francisco but in the Bay Area. There is an increase in traffic on roadways and freeways which has an affect on the population. With major congestion, it can result in serious delays throughout the area, it can also cause people not want to commute or travel to necessary places. Another factor in the area is the over crowding of neighborhoods and housing. I live in house with 10 other people and its too packed at times. With the population booming I feel that the Bay Area will have a serious increase in over crowded areas. The houses are built on top of each other which is also a major factor. The city of San Francisco built on a fault and has dealt with major earthquakes in the past. When the next big one occurs, many people will be affected by it. Living on fault areas, there is a big push now for the construction of buildings that can withstand earthquakes. Along with that rebuilding or adjusting older buildings to be earthquake safe. In the neighborhood I live in, there is a lot of pollution which causes the area took bad and also smell bad.

    (2) In one page, mention and explain two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development but not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life.

    The first major element is keeping the streets in the area I live in clean of trash. There is so much pollution on the surrounding streets of where I live and it seems as if no one cares to clean it up or speak up about it. I feel that that yes we must hold the people who drop the trash accountable but also I feel that its the responsibility of the city officials to keep the streets clean. Also the trash leads to foul smelling area and attracts scavengers to the area. With this happening, people will not want to walk the streets and be out in public areas. There a lot of homeless people and drug users that walk around that adds to people not wanting to wanting to be outside. It is important for people to feel comfortable in the environment they live in. Pollution also can harm peoples health and thats not good for a sustainable environment. The second major issue in the area I live in is sustainable housing. A majority of the houses are not efficient and waste a lot of energy, while consuming a lot. With the population increasing, there needs to be an increase in sustainable housing to support the people. Houses will need to be able to support even more people with using less energy.


  24. (1) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life.

    Current living in Daly City, there are quite a few environmental factors that influence my lifestyle. As far as transportation, I feel that that is a major thing not only in San Francisco but in the Bay Area. There is an increase in traffic on roadways and freeways which has an affect on the population. With major congestion, it can result in serious delays throughout the area, it can also cause people not want to commute or travel to necessary places. Another factor in the area is the over crowding of neighborhoods and housing. I live in house with 10 other people and its too packed at times. With the population booming I feel that the Bay Area will have a serious increase in over crowded areas. The houses are built on top of each other which is also a major factor. The city of San Francisco built on a fault and has dealt with major earthquakes in the past. When the next big one occurs, many people will be affected by it. Living on fault areas, there is a big push now for the construction of buildings that can withstand earthquakes. Along with that rebuilding or adjusting older buildings to be earthquake safe. In the neighborhood I live in, there is a lot of pollution which causes the area took bad and also smell bad.

    (2) In one page, mention and explain two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development but not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life.

    The first major element is keeping the streets in the area I live in clean of trash. There is so much pollution on the surrounding streets of where I live and it seems as if no one cares to clean it up or speak up about it. I feel that that yes we must hold the people who drop the trash accountable but also I feel that its the responsibility of the city officials to keep the streets clean. Also the trash leads to foul smelling area and attracts scavengers to the area. With this happening, people will not want to walk the streets and be out in public areas. There a lot of homeless people and drug users that walk around that adds to people not wanting to wanting to be outside. It is important for people to feel comfortable in the environment they live in. Pollution also can harm peoples health and thats not good for a sustainable environment. The second major issue in the area I live in is sustainable housing. A majority of the houses are not efficient and waste a lot of energy, while consuming a lot. With the population increasing, there needs to be an increase in sustainable housing to support the people. Houses will need to be able to support even more people with using less energy.


  25. The city of Hayward, CA is a suburban area and has a number of mixed open green spaces. I believe Hayward does a good job at integrating suburban homes with green public areas. This is crucial and provides a good example of urban sustainability because it allows residents to seek the outdoors without having to drive long distances. Based on the lecture, the Hayward city parks offers lots of open green space, but most of the greenspace is either dense going towards the Hayward hills or mixed around the flatlands in suburban areas. In my neighborhood of West Hayward, there are a handful of parks within walking distance that offer a lot of green space as well as jungle gyms, tennis and basketball courts. These parks are a significant environmental component that influences the way people live by giving them an incentive to find relaxation outside and brings communities together by sharing the open space. Although these parks are walking distance from a number of homes, from what I can see, many people still drive to these parks and on most days the parks are empty. I believe it is up to older generations to show younger generations that these parks are meant for us to share and fun in instead of wanting to play with our technological devices. In addition, another significant environmental component that influence Hayward are the wetlands. Wetlands act like a giant sponge because living plants the extra water and controls the flood plains. This is crucial, not just for Hayward, but for most of the Bay Area because if our wetlands are damaged enough then our coastal infrastructure can be in danger. The Bay Area has done a good job at protecting its wetlands, but there is still a lot of work to be done to revive the ecosystem. Long-term planning is needed to preserve our wetlands. Also, what I have noticed around Hayward are that many homes have citrus trees.

    The Hayward park system is great because it allows everyone to get outside, but all parks not totally connected even though they are in close proximity. Hayward Greenways (parkways) are not totally connected and are separated by busy roadways, which limits folks to only one section of greenspace that is located near them. I am not sure how the city of Hayward in future can find a way to connect the greenways. Hopefully in the future, the city planners can develop a more fragmented green space rather than a dense or mixed area. Also, AC Transit in the East Bay does a good job at getting people where they need to be. In my neighborhood two major bus lines go to BART stations. The 97 line goes from Bay Fair all the way to Union City using a major roadway. The 22 line has two lines both clockwise and counterclockwise that goes circles from Hayward to South Hayward. These bus lines are crucial to sustainable development. However, public transportation in suburban areas are still unattractive to most people. BART stations in Hayward provide folks who work outside of the city to access transportation without having to drive. However, there are still a large number of single drivers to drive to BART. And for those who find public transportation unappealing, they tend to just drive themselves and pay toll for the bridge. I commute with my dad in the morning and the number of single drivers amazes me. It makes me wonder why they do not find carpool mates because the traffic is horrendous. In addition to the built environment, the city of Hayward has a farmers market in downtown every weekend and allows people to buy locally. However, Hayward is a pretty big city and there is only one farmers market. Hopefully in the future, there can be multiple farmers markets within the city so that more people have access to buy food locally.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Kimanthe Kithika | September 13, 2016 at 12:09 am

    USP 514
    Professor Gohar
    Homework II
    Kimanthe Kithika

    (a) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life. It shall be posted on the SGS Blog on the class relevant post and it will be collected and graded.
    Earthquakes and faulting are the major factors shaping the San Francisco landscape. For this reason the city and county of San Francisco has implemented a mandatory ‘Soft Stories’ ordinance program that has, since 2013, required tenants, property owners, design professionals and contractors to submit screening forms to the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) by a DBI-scheduled deadline. Per DBI’s website at, DBI has achieved over a 99% response to the program. Buildings that have not complied with this requirement are placarded and issued Notices of Violation (NOV).
    “The program has been designed to increase the safety of buildings during an earthquake. It requires that, if a building has been determined through a screening process involving the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), the building’s owner, and a licensed design professional to be a part of this program, their buildings must undergo a seismic retrofit. The work will be required to be done to the building’s lower level (only), and will be started and completed according to the tier in which the building has been placed. (”.
    The properties identified under this Program have been categorized into four tiers, which can be identified on a zoning map. Tier I consists of any building containing educational, assembly, or residential care facility uses (Building Code Occupancy E, A, R2.1, R3.1, or R4) on any story; Tier II consists of any building with 15 or more dwelling units, except for those assigned to Tier I and IV; Tier III consists of any building not falling within the definition of another tier and Tier IV consists of any building containing ground floor commercial uses (Building Code Occupancy B or M), or any building in a mapped liquefaction zone. There are 4995 buildings on the city’s Soft Story Property List, as of 09-07-16, with most located in the northern half of the city, mainly in areas zoned for residential and commercial use.
    The seriousness of building liquefaction in San Francisco’s land bank is evidenced by recent news coverage concerning the Millennium Tower in the city’s downtown area, a 58-story skyscraper built on landfill that is leaning 18 inches further to the west and into the earth from its original position. San Francisco’s liquefaction zones cover almost the entire northern half of the city, with the most serious areas located along the northern and eastern shoreline; the city’s entire downtown and SOMA districts are similarly affected. Buildings in these areas would have to be fixed to the bedrock up to 200 feet below, underneath what used to be the ocean floor, to be considered seismically safe.
    (b) Mention two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable (economy, ecology, equity) development but are not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life. It shall be posted on the SGS Blog on the class relevant post and it will be collected and graded.
    Proposition O, on San Francisco’s November 2016 ballot, will impact projected office development in Candlestick Point and the former Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, a former Redevelopment Agency project area in the city’s Bayview/Hunter’s Point District. The voters will be asked to exempt a total of 8 million square feet of office space development from Proposition M, which limits new office real-estate development to 950,000 square feet/year. If passed, the proposal is sure to lead to increased gentrification in the area, as well as a possible surge of low-income residents from the area as development continues apace, and which might render many of the evacuees ineligible for the construction workforce development services initiated by the project. Thus, it could be very difficult to maintain the existing equity while achieving economic and business development goals in the Southeast.
    In the city’s Fillmore district, an affordable housing development backed by Supervisor London Breed is being blocked by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) because of a neighborhood preference selection process that would offer the first opportunity to occupy the finished development to the residents currently living in the area—already, there are 3500 applicants for the project. The discrepancy between supply and demand is so vast because San Francisco has such a long history of underbuilding, especially of housing stock.


  27. (1) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life.
    My hometown of Sunnyvale is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. It was not always known by its now famous moniker. It was once known nationwide as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight”, a vast temperate valley suitable for growing fruit orchards. Being located between the Bay and the Santa Cruz mountains, blessed it with year round warm weather. However, that blessing had a catch; the Valley lies adjacent to the San Andreas Fault along those mountains. Rain occurred during the winter months to replenish the fruit bearing trees. A number of conflating factors transformed this sleepy agricultural area into the world leader in technology. Partially due to the Post-World War II suburbanization, technological investments by local Stanford University, Hewlett Packard establishing itself in Palo Alto/San Joe, and the defense industry centered around Moffett Field, the Valley found itself rapidly industrializing and changing. Former farmers saw an opportunity to make money in the new market and sold their orchards for development. The flat topograhpy was very manageable for use in constructing tract single-family homes and large office parks. Of course, this development was concurrent with the rise in auto-dependency, which urban planners designed these new developments around. These new expansions risked putting some wildlife and their natural habitats in danger. Conservation efforts by The Nature Conservancy led to over 100,000 acres under protection with 500,000 as its ultimate goal. The bay marsh lands were also spared development as a 30,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge home to 280 species of migratory birds. The riches of the tech industry have an ecological downside as well; Santa Clara County has greatest amount of Superfund Sites of all American counties. Twenty-five contaminated places are undergoing a cleanup effort by the EPA.
    In regards to hydrology, Steven’s Creek is the primary source for bringing in fresh water from the Santa Cruz reservoirs. Stevens Creek is around 20 miles long, coming into the San Francisco Estuary and Whisman Slough. The watershed empties around 29 square miles.
    2) In one page, mention and explain two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development but not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life.
    As I touched on earlier in the previous response, Santa Clara County is a very auto-centric place. San Jose is ranked as the 5th worst city for those who commute via private vehicle. In San Jose, drivers experience an average yearly delay of 67 hours with travel time averaging nearly one and a half hours. The average “congestion cost” per commuter is $1,422. ( The national average for auto commute delay is 45 hours. Designing your cities around cars has consequences, a fact that the short-sighted planners chose to ignore. Massive population growth in Silicon Valley not only pushes rent prices up, but overburdens the already stretched to capacity roads. Thankfully, the trends are pointing downward for commutes by car, with the San Jose metropolitan area decreasing 6.9 percent ( Additionally, the number of miles travelled by public transit rose 18.4 percent between 2005 to 2010. These trends should be helped along with more funding for public transit. Unfortunately, the short-sightedness still remains an issue in Santa Clara County municipalities, such as Sunnyvale et al. who vetoed expansion of a bus rapid transit line along the busiest stretch of road, El Camino Real (KQED). Traditional American concerns over “additional traffic” brought on by taking out a lane defies logic. Putting in an express lane would alleviate traffic because people would now have a higher density alternative, as successfully implemented in Cordoba, Brazil.
    Another issue the Bay Area as a whole is faced with is the lack of affordable housing. A home should be a basic right for everyone instead of a shell used for speculation or wealth hoarding. The problem lies in home-owners having too much say in zoning laws passed by municipalities, striking down anything that might lower their property values such as more housing units for sale. Many prefer to keep their suburbs “quaint” and reject anything with X amount of stories. The results are all around us of these greed-driven actions. A professional couple working two jobs can barely afford putting down money for a mortgage on houses averaging $1 million. As a result, many are forced to throw away money for outrageous rents, which is dictated by market forces of (lack thereof) supply and (high) demand. Governor Jerry Brown recognized this and tried to make housing developments “by right” instead of being bogged down by litigation and delays. Included, would be funds for affordable housing. Unfortunately, the State Assembly did not take up the Governor’s proposal by the end of the legislative session. I urge concerned citizens to get involved on the local level, to promote pro-housing measures in a sustainable way.


  28. LaShan Wiley
    USP 514
    Assignment #2
    The major elements crucial to sustainable developments are green space, transportation systems, and mixed-use development. Public and private partnerships should join together to create sustainable cities. Historical, cultural, and environmental resources should be protected. A reduction in pollution is important to create a balance between built systems and natural systems. Policy makers, regulators and developers should support sustainable planning and construction. Transportation system is a key component to sustainable development, and if not implemented correctly, it may be disastrous. One way to form sustainable areas and reduce pollution is by forming biking and walking paths. Creating walk-able areas close to public transportation is also sustainable. By creating walk-able areas close to public transportation, people are more sociable, car emissions are reduced and quality of life is improved. With population increasing and over 70% of the population will be urban by 2050, we need better quality infrastructures to improve quality of life. Many places were behind in creating a sustainable city, therefore Urban Infrastructure Initiative was created so businesses and cities all around the world could collaborate early and identify new ideas related to sustainability.


  29. (a) Based on the lecture and discussions in class, please write a single page introducing the most significant environmental components influencing the area you live in. Give examples of how such factors interact with or influence people’s life. It shall be posted on the SGS Blog on the class relevant post and it will be collected and graded.
    My city is the story of socio-cultural change during the technology era that spurs smart job growth, increased density, connectivity to different amounts of spaces and use of many smart transportation systems.
    Connectivity among public spaces with public transportation is another feature which makes my city the best place to live. I like how most areas are a few minutes away from each other, and open spaces are diverse who cater to different kinds of consumers. The bus routes in my city go to every part of the city imaginable. The ease, accessibility and connectivity of using efficient, eco-friendly buses are beneficial for Daly City residents and promote sustainable living through community engagement with public transportation. Much of the Asian community within Daly City supports public transit use as they see it as a way to know and meet familiar faces within their own social and cultural networks. I find that a strong socio-cultural presence will be gone if there is no public transportation system embedded within a city.

    (b) Mention two major elements of the built environment that are crucial to sustainable development but not implemented properly in your area and will impact people’s quality of life. It shall be posted on the SGS Blog on the class relevant post and it will be collected and graded.

    Two things that are part of the area are: some inhabitable green space (fenced off from the public) and sometimes heavy amount of pollution (mainly trash). Pollution and inhabitable green space does make it sound like an abandoned or neglected city, but I enjoy the eateries and small shops that cater to my small community. My city provides the basic necessities for smart growth and positive green growth if the community adheres or understood the principles behind the idea of green sustainability.


  30. Environmental Components Influencing Space and Place:

    During this writing, I was in the process of moving from Vallejo to Emeryville. Reasons mainly being tired of a long commute. Both locations I lived are in areas considered a high flood risk. Both places were the cheapest places in town, which coincidently on wetland fill. Living in Emeryville, the location is a flat land bordered by Berkeley to the north and Oakland Golden Gate neighborhood to the east, and West Oakland to the south. Emeryville has originally been an industrial city, which has converted into a large regional retail mecca.

    The natural environment of Emeryville is wetlands, but years of Bay Fill during the era of industrial uses and continued Bay Fill into the 1960’s to develop offices and residential. Even though there were plans to fill more of the wetlands, Save the Bay’s activism put a stop to more planned bay filling, when demonstrates why one part of the town is filled, and other parts of the shore is still wetlands.

    In the new apartment I moved into in Emeryville, it is across the street from the Union Pacific and Amtrak railroad tracks and two blocks from Interstate 80. The trains cross 65th Street and blare the horns even at 0300 or 3 AM. To get a full nights of sleep, the apartment complex installed triple pane windows and the tenant needs hearing protection to be able to stay asleep.

    The design of Emeryville is very unique, it looks slight industrial, but many conversions to commercial, residential, and mixed use. During the day light hours, Emeryville has more pedestrian activities than Vallejo CA. The other difference noted is the presence of singles in Emeryville CA vs lacking singles in Vallejo CA. The demographics of large amount of young singles can be contributed to being closer to employment and access to public transit.

    Sustainable Built Environment:

    In building environment to be sustainable “Interconnected green spaces” are necessary. Interconnected green spaces can bring ecological balance by encouraging existence of animals and edible vegetation, work as noise buffers, reduce runoff, and be a place of visual and natural enjoyment.

    Emeryville or most cities in the Bay Area doesn’t contain interconnected green spaces. Emeryville has two parks and a few green ways, but most are divided by Union Pacific tracks and Interstate 80 Freeway. Without the connected green space, there is a lot of run off heading to the Bay.

    Emeryville CA has spotty moderate “Multi-Moday Transporatation System. Emeryville only contains Amtrak trais station with no train service to San Francisco. There are AC Transit buses that goes to San Francisco Transbay Terminal, but the buses are slow and gets stuck with the Bay Bridge Traffic. Both systems are not interconnected and transports on their own program. The nearest BART Station from Emeryville is either West Oakland or MacAuthur Station. Both stations are two miles from Emeryville. Lack of multimodal connections encourages more driving to occur.

    If multimodal transportation is to be built in Emeryville, the regional government needs to build an electric commuter rail system similar to New Jersey Transit or Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA). The system needs to go from Sacramento following Interstate 80 from Sacramento to Emeryville, then with a second Transbay tube terminating at the San Francisco Transbay Transit Center.

    Emeryville does a good job with mixed use development, especially with post 2000 developments. Many mixed used developments have consisted of a shopping destinations on the lower floor and apartments on the upper floors, resembling Lifestyle Centers in North Carolina urban areas. Before 2000 Emeryville were allowing separate use zoning to be built, from lots zoned to residential to exclusively commercial or office. After Pacific Plaza was built, the city has been adverse to allow high-rise developments to occur.


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