The College of Environmental Design (CED) prides itself on supporting the research and innovation pursued by its faculty across all departments and within Organized Research Units (ORUs). On a consistent basis, CED research sets the pace for advancements across many sectors and fields of study locally, nationally and worldwide.
Fall 2018 Activity Update
Chan Zuckerberg Award for the Terner Center
The Terner Center for Housing and Innovation, whose mission is to formulate bold strategies to house families from all walks of life in vibrant, sustainable and affordable homes and communities, is a research unit embedded in both CED and the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the Haas School of Business. A recent and generous award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has enlarged the scope of the Terner Center, enabling it to address key policy, affordability and construction issues that are paramount to the affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area.
The $500,000 CZI award, spanning the next 2 years, allows the Terner Center to explore contemporary policy approaches and private sector collaborations. Headed by Faculty Director and the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor of Affordable Housing and Urban Policy at CED, Carol Galante, along with CED’s Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning and Terner Center Faculty Research Advisor Carolina Reid, the Terner Center has a formidable reputation of shaping public policy and encouraging the construction industry to pursue forward thinking innovation. One such example of a Terner Center partnership and affiliated research effort surrounds the work of Factory OS, a Vallejo, CA based company in the business of fabricating pre-built housing units in a factory setting. In working with such firms, as well as nonprofit organizations and public agencies, the Terner Center impacts the affordable housing arena as a whole.
RBD Winning Project: The All Bay Collective’s Plan for the San Leandro Estuary
The Resilient by Design (RBD) challenge launched in May 2017, was a yearlong competition and collaborative effort bringing together designers, public officials, residents and community organizations throughout the Bay Area to develop: “innovative community-based solutions that will strengthen our region’s resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes”.
Modeled after New York City’s Rebuild by Design Challenge, this Bay Area specific competition received funding from The Rockefeller Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The winning team dubbed the All Bay Collective (ABC), boasts two CED faculty members: Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Nicholas de Monchaux and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning Kristina Hill, as well as doctoral student and landscape architect Nate Kauffman. Other team partners included faculty from the California College of the Arts (CCA) and the design and engineering firm, AECOM.
ABC’s award-winning project, entitled Estuary Commons, aims to raise the voice of East Oakland residents as they work to rethink and re-shape the estuary adjacent to their community which feeds into the San Francisco Bay. The design calls for increased public space, more affordable housing and ecological interventions which respond to flooding and sea level rise, since both of these phenomena are imminent in the face of climate change. Not only does the design have profound environmental implications, such as increasing habitat for birds who stop in the estuary along the Pacific Flyway migratory route, the plan also outlines steps for mitigating the impacts of gentrification, which often go hand in hand with new development and increased costs of housing. Currently, ABC is working to bring their visionary design plan to life.
Continuing Work of the ORUs
The Center for Cities + Schools, which aims to promote high-quality education as an essential component of urban and metropolitan vitality to create equitable, healthy and sustainable communities for all, is currently focusing their efforts on identifying key problems in the infrastructure of PK-12 schools. By proposing system reforms that specifically address equity and access, the center is constantly working to put forth solutions that eliminate key challenges in our education system.
The Center for the Built Environment (CBE), whose mission is the improve the environmental quality and energy efficiency of buildings, is part of the Center for Environmental Design Research, led by Interim Director and Professor of Architecture Gail Brager. CBE recently received two $500,000 grants from the Siebel Energy Institute to support research on data analytics, occupant engagement and energy performance in buildings. This infusion of new funding will help the center innovate in the area of research on building environmental performance and health, and occupant comfort.
The Institute for Urban and Regional Development (IURD), under the direction of Professor of City & Regional Planning Jason Corburn, has a mission to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary research and practice which helps to improve processes and outcomes that shape urban equity around the world. Most recently, IURD participated in the Habitat III global conference in Ecuador that zoomed into various issues pertaining to sustainable urban development.
Individual Faculty Research
Faculty at CED are engaged in a myriad of research projects that range by topic and subject area at CED. While there are many project to spotlight, one recent example of newsworthy factuly research is the work of Professor of City & Regional Planning Karen Chapple who has recently tackled the affordable housing crisis from the standpoint of exploring Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Her research seeks to identify if ADUs can help ameliorate the pressures of rising Bay Area populations, increased housing costs and the implications of policies like SB 375, which puts additional stress on the region to build infill and affordable housing units at a rapid pace.