East Los Angeles, CA, USA
Senior Planner, San Francisco Planning Department
Esmeralda Jardines joins the Abbey Master of Real Estate Development + Design (MRED+D) program within the College of Environmental Design (CED) after three years in Architecture and more than nine years in City Planning. As an urban planner, Esmeralda has overseen development and architectural proposals of varying scales, scopes, and land uses. She has worked with and engaged numerous stakeholders from development teams comprising real estate developers, architects, and land use attorneys to neighborhood groups, housing activists, and public officials when reviewing, presenting, and approving large-scale, mixed-use vertical and horizontal developments in San Francisco. New skyscrapers are coming to a skyline near you, and new streets, widened sidewalks, and bulb-outs are coming to a curb beside you. Most recently, she has focused on 100% affordable housing developments and is currently leading the San Francisco Planning Code Audit.
As an Arcus Social Justice Corps Fellow and a first-generation Mexican-American, Esmeralda is committed to racial and social equity and believes that Mos Def/Yasiin Bey said it best when he penned, “reach the world but touch the street first.” She is most proud not to have been the first in her family to pursue higher education, but to see that she was not the last.
Esmeralda is pursuing the Abbey MRED+D because she is interested in the intersection of real estate investment, finance, urban design, and land use law as well as the role that all the aforementioned have in the built environment. She is motivated to learn to how to develop and build affordable, equitable, and climate-resilient buildings, neighborhoods, and cities. While also pursuing the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Real Estate and partaking in the design competitions, she hopes to utilize and access the multifaceted networks at CED, Berkeley Haas, and Berkeley Law.
In her spare time, Esmeralda enjoys investing in her family, friends, and community. She loves to travel–South America and Antarctica are up next—and she is already recruiting her cohort. Visiting art museums, urban hiking, playing racquet sports, cooking, and music all bring her tremendous joy. As a board member, she helps advise a conductorless orchestra, One Found Sound, that provides equitable and barrier-free music. Esmeralda plans to launch her own independent record label one day, but first an Abbey MRED+D degree from her alma mater. Esta maestría es para usted, mamá, querida abuelita, y familia.