Elizabeth Deakin: Integrating Transportation, Land Use, and Environmental Planning for Social Justice and Carbon Reduction: Finding a Way that Works
12th Annual Martin Wachs Lecture by Elizabeth Deakin
Thursday, November 14th
Lecture: 5:30 - 7 pm
Location: 112 Wurster Hall
Elizabeth Deakin is Professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, where she also is an affiliated faculty member of the Energy and Resources Group and the Master of Urban Design group. She formerly served as Director of the University of California Transportation Research Center (1998-2008) and co-director of the UC Berkeley Global Metropolitan Studies Initiative (2005-2008). Deakin's research focuses on transportation and land use policy and the environmental impacts of transportation. She has published over 200 articles, book chapters, and reports on topics ranging from environmental justice to transportation pricing to development exactions and impact fees. She currently is carrying out a series of studies on urban development and transportation in China, Latin America, and India as well as in California.
Deakin has testified on several occasions for committees of the US Congress and for the California Legislature. She chaired the Congressionally-mandated National Academy of Sciences advisory board that led to the enactment of the federal transportation-environmental research program. She also has served as an appointed member of a number of government posts including city and county transportation commissions and a state advisory board. She is frequently called upon to advise mayors and city council members as well as transit board members.
She is a member of a number of committees and panels of the Transportation Research Board and is editor of the journal Transportation Policy, serving as well on the editorial board of four other journals. She also is an Urban Land Institute Fellow.
Deakin holds degrees in transportation systems analysis and political science from MIT as well as a law degree from Boston College.
Ben Metcalf: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Through State Action: Moving Away From Exclusionary Zoning in California
Wednesday, November 20th
Lecture: 11 am - 12:30 pm
Location: 305 Wurster Hall
In 2018, responding to Trump Administration efforts to weaken federal fair housing laws, the state of California enacted Assembly Bill 686 (AB 686), which embedded into state law an affirmative duty for all California local governments to, among other things, “overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity”. AB 686 took California well beyond existing interpretations of the federal fair housing act to add an express obligation to all California cities and counties to affirmatively further fair housing in the context of not only housing and community development funding decisions but also regularly occurring updates to local general plans and zoning. Furthermore, these local efforts to address patterns of residential segregation through local land use decisions were then required to be reviewed and affirmed by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development as part of its ongoing oversight of local governments’ Housing Element updates through the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process.
This talk reviews current efforts at the state and national level to address patterns of segregation through zoning and land use policy. I explore nascent efforts within California to comply with AB 686, notably through the use of data and analytic “opportunity mapping” tools that spatially locate segregation and concentrated poverty and endeavor to tease out the geographies that may be most facilitative of economic mobility. While acknowledging the limitations of mapping tools to fully inform decision making, I argue for the use of such analytic tools as a complement to a robust participatory process at the local level and, in particular, as the primary means for the state to empirically validate local compliance with AB 686.
Ben Metcalf is a Former Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development and a founder and principal of Stronger Foundations LLC, a consulting firm supporting a range of public and private sector clients on housing related matters. His approach—which values partnership and creativity—draws on his experience as a hands-on practitioner and strategic policy maker. Ben was formerly Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development serving under Governors Brown and Newsom. Ben also worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where he served most recently as an appointee of President Obama in the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary overseeing HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. Previously, he developed mixed-income and mixed-use communities in Northern California with BRIDGE Housing Corporation. He has a Master’s in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Design as well a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Amherst College. He lives in Oakland, California with his wife Melissa and children Teo and Lelia.
Kafui Attoh: Uber, Public Transit and the Idiocy of the Smart City
Thursday, December 5th
Lecture: 5:30 - 7 PM
Location: 112 Wurster Hall
With a focus on Washington, DC, the talk explores how cities often uncritically embrace technological innovation and the “sharing economy” to the detriment of their wellbeing and the interests of their working class and most vulnerable residents.
Professor Kafui Attoh received his B.A. from Macalester College and his Ph.D in Geography from Syracuse University. His broad interests are in the political economy of cities, the politics of public space and debates in and around the idea of the “right to the city.” His research has focused on three areas: 1) the role of transit within the political economy of cities; 2) the economic impact of limited access to transportation on disadvantaged communities and 3) the role of urban social movements (including the labor movement) in shaping mass transit policy. He is the author of Rights in Transit: Public Transportation and the Right to the City in California’s East Bay (University of Georgia Press 2019). His work has appeared in Progress in Human Geography, New Labor Forum, The Journal of Cultural Geography, The Geographical Bulletin, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Urban Studies, Antipode and Space, and Polity.