Events

Green Streets for Sustainable Communities

Honoring the vision and work of the late Dr. Joseph Kott

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2020

This event was moved from March to September 23 due to the public health emergency. Please see the Resources page for in-depth information on Green Streets for Sustainable Communities.

Venue: Mitchell Park Community Center, Palo Alto, CA

Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Green streets provide a “roadmap” to our community, ecosystem, and economic future. It’s time to apply holistic, creative design eyes to our street system, our most important public assets and land, right under our feet in the middle of our cities. Public streets and their right of way convey and distribute to each home and destination:

● people in cars, transit, bikes, scooters and shoes
● goods and emergency services via truck and other vehicles
● energy and data: electricity, gas, fiber optics
● water – wastewater, stormwater, drinking water
● soil, tree canopy, nature-based infrastructure

This Green Streets Symposium is for a mix of city council members and other local elected officials, city staff leaders, stormwater experts, complete street/transportation experts, citizen and environmental activists, public and private utilities, arborists and tree experts, ground water and urban ecology experts; and sustainability and real estate leaders for companies and other institutions.

Organizer: Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities or TCSC (http://transportchoice.org).

Sponsoring Organizations Include: City of Mountain View, City of Palo Alto, Valley Water, Google, Valley Water and SCVURPPP, County of Santa Clara

Vision: Urban areas of the Bay Area are fully integrated into a “no net impact” system with the larger natural environment. This includes an integrated water system that follows the call to “slow it, spread it, sink it” and brings together the planning for storm water drainage, drought concerns, and flood prevention. No net climate change emissions means we reduce single occupancy vehicle use and promote walking, biking, transit or other shared low- or zero emission vehicles. Human-caused emissions are offset by a rich canopy of trees, grasslands, and chaparral in our open spaces surrounding the urban area and integrated throughout our urban areas – gardens but also greening our infrastructure especially our street grids. Air flows are slowed and softened by trees canopies, our soil systems are protected by and enriched with natural compost.

Desired Outcomes: Participants will (a) learn from experts and peers, (b) be empowered by a community of peers and citizens who support this vision, (c) bring this vision and set of practices to standard policies and design guidelines for their cities and organizations and, of course (d) this will lead to change “on the ground” through both plans, specifications and implementation.

Audience: Bay Area community of policy leaders (city council, county, water district etc.), technical experts (staff, consultants, agency folk), neighborhood and environmental advocates (non-profits, neighborhood associations) 100-150 participants

Agenda

8:30 – 9:00 amRegistration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 9:10 amWelcome/ Dr. Joe Kott Remembrance/ Call to Action
Former Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto, President Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities
9:10 – 9:20 amBlessings and Greetings
Kanyon “Coyote Woman” Sayers-Roods, Ohlone Leader
9:20 – 9:45 amKeynote Address
John Bela, Partner, Gehl San Francisco: Public space designer, urbanist, sculptor
9:45 – 11:00 amFrom Vision to Policy to Practice (Details Below)
Vision of Green Streets for Sustainable Communities and how it is being translated to Practice and Policy – Robin Grossinger (Scientist, SFEI)
Sustainable Water – Jill Bicknell, SCVURPPP
Sustainable Transportation – Jessica Zenk, City of San José
Sustainable Ecology – Erica Spotswood, of SFEI
Sustainable Human Habitat – Alison Hicks, Mountain View City Council Member
Bringing it together – Complete, Green, Sustainable Streets moderator, Gita Dev, Sierra Club
Panel discussion and audience Q&A
11:00 – 11:20 amBreak
11:20 am – 12:00 noonHow to Pay for it – Investing for Sustainability
Josh Bradt, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, moderator
Speakers: Active Transportation Program, MTC (One Bay Area Grant), CTC (SB 1 Gas Tax funds, Natural Resources Agency (GGRF urban greening funds)
12:00 – 1:00 pmLunch
12:15 – 12:45 pmMaking It Personal: Interactive, multi-disciplinary table conversations
1:00 – 2:00 pm“Where the (Green) Rubber Hits the Road”: Making the System Work for Complete, Green and Sustainable Streets” (Details Below)
Moderator: Marianna Grossman
2:00 – 2:45 pmApplying what we learned to change on the street: Opportunities for Impact
Q&A and discussion – with panel members, engaging the many experts in the audience
2:45 – 3:00 pmWrap-Up, Call to Action
Yoriko Kishimoto, President, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities
3:15 pmOptional tours of Rengstorff Park to see various green stormwater and ecology design features.

Agenda Details

8:30 – 9:00 – Registration and continental breakfast

9:00 – 9:10 – Welcome/Joe Kott Remembrance/Call to Action (Former Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto, President, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities)

9:10 – 9:20 – Blessings and greetings – Kanyon “Coyote Woman” Sayers-Roods, Ohlone leader

9:20 – 9:45 – Keynote address: John Bela, Partner, Gehl San Francisco: Public space designer, urbanist, sculptor

9:45 – 11:00 – FROM VISION TO POLICY TO PRACTICE
Better integrated design of our public street system is a critical strategy for how cities can immediately take action with real property they own and control. The streets must better integrate Sustainable Transportation, Water, Ecology and Human Communities and Health.

Robin Grossinger (scientist, SFEI) will present vision of Green Streets for Sustainable Communities and how it is being translated to Practice and Policy
● Sustainable Water: Rapid climate change is causing more severe storm run-off and local flooding and urbanization has led to cumulative pollution of San Francisco Bay and the waterways. Our public street system is a key part of the watersheds.
Jill Bicknell, SCVURPPP
● Sustainable Transportation: Transportation is the top emitter of carbon emissions causing climate change. Our streets must prioritize transportation modes that reduce carbon emissions -a more sustainable balance between walking, biking, public and private transit, and private low or zero-emission vehicles. How to integrate complete streets with green street concepts.
Jessica Zenk, Division Manager, Department of Transportation, Planning Policy & Sustainable Options, City of San José
● Sustainable Ecology: Our human communities depend on the health of our largest infrastructure, the full functioning and resilience of our ecology, including our tree canopies, bushes and flowers, soil, native bees and birds. Our Green Boulevards envision the integration of the ecology, water and transportation functions of our public street system with more trees, permeable soils, more safety and shade for walking and biking.
Erica Spotswood, of SFEI creating urban forest master plan City of East Palo Alto
● Sustainable Human Habitat: We crave and need both human company and nature in our everyday lives. We need our public street system, together with urban and open space parks, to transform from barriers to interaction to platforms for improving our relationships and interaction with other people and nature.
Alison Hicks, Mountain View City Council Member
● Bringing it together: Complete, Green, Sustainable Streets moderator, Gita Dev, Sierra Club
● Panel discussion and audience Q&A: bringing these together for Complete, Green, and Sustainable Streets

11:00 – 11:20 – Break

11:20 – 12:00 – How to Pay for it – Investing for Sustainability
Josh Bradt, San Francisco Estuary Partnership, moderator
Speakers: Active Transportation Program, MTC (One Bay Area Grant), CTC (SB 1 Gas Tax funds, Natural Resources Agency (GGRF urban greening funds)

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch

12:15 – 12:45 Making It Personal: Interactive, Multi-disciplinary table conversations

1:00 – 2:00: “Where the (Green) Rubber Hits the Road”: Making the System Work for Complete, Green and Sustainable Streets”
Moderator: Marianna Grossman

  1. San Mateo Sustainable Streets Master Plan: Matt Fabry, C/CAG: prioritization of projects, community outreach, climate modeling, project concepts and illustrations
  2. Mountain View North Bayshore: A new paradigm for a whole area, green complete streets, using a Specific Plan, incentives for ecology improvements, storm water, Transportation Management Association
    Josh Mello, District Transportation Lead for Mountain View, Google; Martin Alkire, Principal Planner, City of Mountain View (invited)
  3. Palo Alto: Improving collaboration and community engagement. Lessons learned from Charleston Arastradero and Ross Road projects, Holly Boyd, Pamela Boyle Rodriguez, and Sylvia Star-Lack, City of Palo Alto
  4. San José: Multi-benefit Green Streets Projects
    Jeff Sinclair, City of San José
  5. Stanford University: Holistic campus management supporting integrated design for traffic calming, stormwater management, bicycle and pedestrian safety. Cathy Deino Blake, chief landscape architect.

2:00 to 2:45: Applying what we learned to change on the street: Opportunities for Impact
Q&A and discussion – with panel members, engaging the many experts in the audience

2:45 to 3:00 Wrap-Up, Call to Action
Yoriko Kishimoto, President, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities

3:15 Optional tours of Rengstorff Park to see various green stormwater and ecology design features.

Co-Sponsors

Google
Sierra Club Loma Prieta ChapterValley Water

Supporting Organizations

ActerraCanopyCounty of San MateoCCAG
County of Santa ClaraFriends of CalTrainGrass Roots EcologyGreen Belt Allaince
Joint Venture Silicon Valley NetworkMinerva VenturesSanta Clara UniversitySilicon Valley Bicycle Coalition
SF Bay Estuary InstituteSustainable Silicon ValleySustainable StanfordSan Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority
County of San MateoCool Block Santa Clara Co.CaltrainBillanecenter
SamTransProspect Silicon ValleyPalo Alto TMASafe Routes Partnership