Conference Tours

Exciting tours will be included as part of the 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth™ Conference. Tours will be scheduled on the mornings of Wednesday – January 31, Thursday – February 1, and on in the afternoon of Saturday – February 3.

Wednesday, January 31

Tour 1: Small-Town Success in Wine Country

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 11:00 am-7:30 pm

Since the early 1990s, the small town of Yountville (population 3,000) has pivoted to embrace wine tourism. The town’s transformation in the years since has been remarkable. Today, Yountville has an absolute bonanza of top-quality tasting rooms, restaurants, hotels and inns – and the world has noticed. The town is a magnet for visitors from around the globe. How did this happen?

We’ll make a full-day excursion to Wine Country to find out. We’ll talk to a local vintner and hear from the Town Manager about the various contributors to Yountville’s success, including the role of Napa County’s agricultural preservation as well as the Town’s General Plan, and how it has allowed the Town to invest in high-quality public facilities, recreation and the arts. We’ll also talk about what the Town is doing to try to maintain an authentic community in the face of demand for second homes (by people from the big city) and the difficulty of establishing locally oriented businesses. After a talk in the new Community Hall, we’ll head out on foot in this eminently walkable town, with a guided tour followed by time to check out some tasting rooms.

On the way to Yountville, visitors will get the added experiences of a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the Napa Valley’s distinct viticultural areas, and a lunch stop at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, with a brief visit to that city’s innovative public open-space/flood-control area along the Napa River.

Transportation: Charter Bus, Walking | Refreshments: Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. | Cost: $99

Tour 2: Transforming Downtown San Jose with Transit and Development

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 9:00 am-5:10 pm

Track: Transportation

Downtown San Jose is experiencing a building boom, with at least 20 active high-rise residential and office development projects and plans for millions more square feet in the works. The proposed 6-8 million sq.-ft. Google transit-oriented development at Diridon Station and the planned arrival of BART, along with Caltrain electrification and high-speed rail, will dramatically change the character of Downtown San Jose, adding tens of thousands of new employees and commuters and expanding the downtown workforce by about 50%.

How can this unprecedented level of public and private investment be coordinated to create equitable growth? City staff and agency partners will discuss the Diridon Station planning effort, and then participants will take a look at recent projects in the Downtown. Participants will take Caltrain to San Jose and then ride light rail to reach the downtown area for a walking tour of recent infill projects.

Transportation: CalTrain, LRT, Walking | Refreshments: Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. | Cost: $75

Thursday February 1

Tour 3: Reuse, Refuel, and Revitalize - Sustainable Infill Redevelopment in Emeryville

Thursday February 1, 2018 | 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Since the “Wild West” of the 1980’s, Emeryville has evolved as a leader in “4-E’s” – equitable environment, education and economy – that can be demonstrated by the stops and sights along this tour. The first site is the AC Transit Fuel Cell Station, which provides hydrogen fuel produced from natural gas and via solar electrolysis for clean energy buses and personal fuel-cell cars. Participants will also visit the Emeryville Center of Community Life, a first-of-a-kind partnership between a city and school district to deliver education and community services, including dental and medical services, recreation, public art and a one-of-a-kind play structure – on a brownfield site! The revitalized site is now Doyle-Hollis Park, now a popular park for all ages, was designed for and by the community, and met strict bay-friendly design guidelines.

EmeryStation, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development, came about through the partnership of transit providers, developers, environmental regulators, the property owner and the city to reuse a former “mothballed” site. Another brownfield site, the Emeryville Public Market is now on its third-generation of redevelopment and is the first LEED-Neighborhood project in the country.

Along the tour route, we will also view the Emeryville Greenway (a brownfield rail-to-trail connection of regional trails), the Park Avenue Historic district (home to Pixar Studio), Bay Street (a mixed-use street shopping area), retrofitted industrial to commercial/mixed-use/residential, and the many mixed-income housing developments and public art supported by the city. (Public art walking maps will be provided to all participants.)

Transportation: BART, Emeryville Shuttle- Sponsored by the City of Emeryville, Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $25

Tour 4: Green Infrastructure at Work in the San Francisco Bay

Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 7:20 am-12:00 pm

Join representatives from the East Bay Regional Parks District, WRT Planning & Design and the National Recreation and Park Association for this dynamic and highly informative tour of  two historic park sites for a first-hand look at these newly restored natural systems. The tour will highlight green-infrastructure best practices and the environmental and social benefits of green-infrastructure installations at both sites. Participants will enjoy a sneak preview of perhaps one of the most iconic new parks in the San Francisco Bay Area – Gateway Park.

First on the tour will be Lake Merritt Park, the first protected wildlife refuge in America and an acclaimed urban estuary in the heart of Oakland. Lake Merritt has received more than $50 million in renovations and green infrastructure installations to restore the natural hydrological features and enhance water quality. Participants will visit the restored historic boathouse (LEED Gold) and a new 12th-Street park expansion where the removal of culverts has resulted in substantial water-quality improvements and improved water flow between Lake Merritt and the Oakland Estuary. We will hear from consultants and City staff who will talk about the process and lessons learned.

Participants will also visit the Dotson Family Marsh, recently restored 150 acres of tidal wetlands located along the North Richmond Shoreline in a historically African-American community with a long legacy of environmental advocacy. The project, managed by the regional parks district, was designed to allow rising sea levels to migrate inland with important species’ habitat that also buffers the people living nearby. It includes public-access facilities that connect the marsh to the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline and close a key gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail. Tour participants will also hear from the National Recreation and Park Association about how to design green infrastructure with a focus on providing equity benefits. Complimentary copies of their newly released “Resource Guide for Green Infrastructure for Parks and Public Lands” will be available for participants.

Transportation: Charter Bus, Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $49

Tour 5: Downtown San Francisco Transbay Transit Center District Tour

Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 8:30-11:30 am

Explore the Transbay Transit Center District, San Francisco’s newest downtown neighborhood surrounding the beautifully designed Transit Center. At five stories tall, the one-million square-foot Transit Center will provide transit connections to destinations in eight Bay Area counties and beyond to the rest of California through 11 transportation systems.

Described as the “Grand Central Station of the West,” the Transit Center features innovative and sustainable design in its architecture and development, along with art installations by local artists. The heart of the Transit Center is a 5.4-acre rooftop city park that features an elevated linear park with an open-air amphitheater, gardens, trails, children’s play space and retail uses.

The tour will begin at the Transbay Joint Powers Authority offices, which feature stunning views of the entire district. You will hear firsthand about the unique strategies used by the TJPA and City of San Francisco to transform an abandoned freeway and blighted properties into a walkable, dense employment center that surrounds the new state-of the-art Transit Center and features mixed-income housing, active retail, public parks and walkable streets.

Next, we’ll take a walking tour of the Transit Center and the surrounding district to see where numerous public private partnerships are being built to help fund the center. Once completed, the district will include more than 6 million square feet of commercial space, about 4,400 new housing units (35% affordable to very low-, low- and moderate-income households) and more than 11 acres of new public parks and open space. The substantial public infrastructure investment is being secured through an innovative mix of public and private sources, including public-land sales, developer contributions, tiered impact fees and special taxes. We then visit a few buildings under-construction and recently built to get a behind-the-scenes view of how they’ve been developed.

Transportation: Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $35

Saturday February 3

Tour 6: Pathways to Wellness in Richmond, Ca

Saturday, February 3 | 1:30-6:30 pm

This tour will take participants across the bay to Richmond, where you will learn about progressive policies and civic and grassroots community-building projects. Best known for its unique role in World War II, Richmond is now gaining national recognition for innovative practices and policies around environmental and racial justice, and social and economic equity.

As the city continues to grow, and prepares for economic expansion, it seeks to improve the quality of life for current residents and newcomers. Local leaders and policymakers strive to enhance its skilled workforce, invest in education through a comprehensive and collaborative Promise initiative, retain and expand local blue-collar and green-collar jobs, maximize redevelopment of underutilized properties, and expand the local tax base.

Capitalizing on Richmond’s strong potential for further growth will allow Richmond to become a more desirable place to live, work, and visit. Tour participants will learn about, and experience, innovative cross-sector models for social, economic and environmental sustainability with equity that are stimulating local change and informing national policy. You’ll explore places of progress, learn best practices, and hear directly from resident leaders and community members about ways in which the City of Richmond is setting a national model of how to develop and progress with equity.

Transportation: BART, Shuttle, Walking | Refreshments: Late lunch and light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $35

Tour 7: The Best of “Brewedway” – Infill Revitalization of Auto Row and Skid Row

Saturday, February 3, 1:30-5:30 pm

Oakland’s Broadway and Telegraph Avenue radiate out from downtown. Not long ago, parts of these major corridors that were faded, but now are anchoring place-based revitalization with a mix of old buildings and new development, retail, brewpubs and taprooms, and housing, capitalizing on good multimodal transit access and strategic location. We will explore sites of urban transformation whose roots and expression are as diverse as the communities themselves.

The Broadway-Valdez District Specific Plan, covering a one-mile stretch of Broadway, is helping to transform a former auto row and auto-oriented arterial into a food, entertainment and retail destination – and putting an additional 3,000 units of housing into the pipeline so far. We will present the context for the plan, its vision for the area and some of the unique zoning strategies created to implement that vision. We’ll see apartment, retail and entertainment projects at various stages of development, including a visit to two repurposed garages that today house the HIVE co-working space and the Drakes Dealership taproom.

About a mile-and-a-half north, the Temescal-Telegraph Business Improvement District has been guiding the improvement of scrappy Telegraph Avenue since 2004, and has led the renaissance of this once neglected neighborhood, now home to many homegrown businesses. We’ll visit with business-district leaders, see a resident-led development project, and make a stop at Temescal Brewing, a brownfield-to-brewery gem.

Finally, we’ll see what is emerging as the East Bay’s highest-density transit village around the MacArthur BART station before hopping on BART back to San Francisco. We anticipate two brewpub/taproom stops, highlighting the tour theme.

Transportation: BART, Bike | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $49

Tour 8: San Francisco Affordable Housing Bike Tour: Getting to Know San Francisco’s Affordable Housing

Saturday, February 3, 2018 | 1:30-5:30 pm

What makes quality affordable housing? How is it designed, and how does it hold up over the long-term? How do affordable housing projects fit into a highly urban context, and the specific micro-contexts of central San Francisco? Grab one of the Bay Area’s new bikeshare bikes for an inside look at an exciting variety of affordable housing developments in San Francisco’s dense urban core.

Presented by David Baker Architects, Community Housing Partnership and Openhouse, we will visit developments in the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and Hayes Valley neighborhoods, getting inside the buildings and meeting the people behind the projects. Projects will include family housing in the heart of the Tenderloin; the new homeless “navigation center” in what was formerly one of the city’s most notorious SROs; permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals; LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing in a repurposed school building; and new market-rate micro-units.

Along the way we’ll experience firsthand San Francisco’s uneven but highly used bike infrastructure, and the new development, streets and public spaces that have emerged in the footprint of a former freeway. We’ll use the Bay Area’s new Ford GoBikes, which have many stations in the vicinity of the conference hotel. Our route would take us west on McAllister Street, south on Octavia, and northeast on Market Street, using bike lanes and shared bike routes. We’ll stop at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley for refreshments along the way. Participants are encouraged to bring bike helmets with them to the conference.

Transportation: GoBike | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $49

Tour 9: The Missing-Middle Housing Tour: Documenting Medium Density, House-Scale Building Types

Saturday, February 3, 2018 | 1:30-5:30 pm

Berkeley’s neighborhoods provide a diverse range of housing choices in a walkable context, including a mix of medium- to high-density housing types such as duplexes, fourplexes and small multiplexes that are compatible with single-family homes in the neighborhood but represent a broad range of densities. These types, known as “Missing Middle Housing,” are critical for providing diverse, affordable housing choices and achieving densities that support transit and local-serving small businesses.

This mobile workshop will take you through Berkeley’s vibrant neighborhoods to explore on foot (or possibly on bike) and document the range of Missing Middle Housing. Tour participants will complete photographic and sketch documentation using a template provided by the organizers. While documenting, the group will discuss:
• Mix of types and densities within individual blocks.
• Single-family home compatibility.
• Perceived and actual densities.
• Range of unit sizes.
• How zoning might prevent or encourage this range of housing.
• How to encourage this range within future land use planning efforts.
• Densities needed to support Main Streets.

This exercise will provide you with the tools and knowledge to explore and document Missing Middle Housing types in your community to help discuss challenging housing issues.

Transportation: BART, Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $25

Tour 11: Walk Audit with Walkability Guru Dan Burden

Saturday, February 3, 2018 | 1:30-5:30 pm

Dan Burden has worked in more than 3,500 communities and led more than 4,000 walk audits throughout North America.  The inventor of walk audits and the “Johnny Appleseed” of spreading the virtues of walkability around the continent, he was named a “Transportation Champion of Change” by President Obama in 2016. His work helps define the future of transportation, and is now exemplified by thousands of new innovations that give full support to walking, bicycling, transit, living in place, driving less, and enjoying life more. Named by Time magazine in 2001 as one of the world’s six most important civic innovators, Burden is currently Director of Innovation and Inspiration for Blue Zones, LLC, and was previously Director of Innovation and Inspiration at the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, and co-founder of Walkable Communities, Inc., and the Bicycle Federation of America.

This walk audit – also known as a “walking workshop” – will explore techniques and methods of discovery by foot, while trekking portions of San Francisco’s public realm. The group will discuss features of the built environment that matter most, such as streetscapes, urban development, urban infill, public space, parking and traffic management principles and practice. Light refreshments will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for a cool morning in Fog City.

Transportation: Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $25


Saturday, February 3, 2018 | 1:30-5:30 pm

San Francisco’s working waterfront is an important regional economic driver, part of a thriving food system and a cultural icon, yet its ongoing contributions often go unrecognized and unappreciated. In 2016, San Francisco commercial fishermen generated nearly $23 million in earnings at the dock, more than 11% of California’s $199 million total, which include Dungeness crab, salmon, swordfish and tuna. These commercial fishermen are continuously adapting to, and capitalizing on, shifting environmental conditions, movement of fish stocks, regulations, land-use pressures and consumer preferences.

San Francisco’s Pier 45, or Fisherman’s Wharf, is a key offloading facility, seafood processing and distribution hub that provides jobs for hundreds of workers and serves seafood markets across the country. All year long, commercial fishermen offload and sell their catch to the pier’s many seafood companies, which process, pack and distribute the fish and shellfish. In 2010, the San Francisco Community Fishing Association was formed – the first fishermen-owned offloading and processing co-op on the West Coast. Meet the fishermen, processors and distributors, and learn how the commercial fishing industry fits into the city’s waterfront. Visit key infrastructure such as offloading docks, hoists, ice and freezer plants, processing, packing and hook baiting facilities, and gear repair and storage warehouses.

Transportation: Public Transit, Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided | Cost: $35

Tour 14: Resilient Communities, Habitat Restoration and Green Infrastructure in the South Bay

Saturday, February 3 | 1:30-6:30 pm

In partnership with the Resilient By Design | Bay Area Challenge, this tour has been shifted to the San Mateo County Shoreline.

Spend the afternoon learning along the edges of the San Francisco Bay where a local and international team of planners, environmentalists and community leaders are working to create a more resilient shoreline. This tour will be offered in partnership with the Resilient By Design | Bay Area Challenge, a collaborative research and design project that has brought together an international team of designers, planners and scientists to collaborate with local communities in identifying and implementing resilient-design solutions that will minimize the impacts of sea-level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes.

The tour will feature the communities of South San Francisco and San Bruno along the San Mateo County bay shoreline and provide an opportunity to interface with community stakeholders and experts in planning, green infrastructure, and urban design from members of the selected multidisciplinary design team of HASSEL+. The tour will include visits to Oyster Point, a significant biotech, research, transit, and recreational hub, neighborhoods along San Bruno and Colma Creeks where new strategies are being considered to manage flood risks, and the South San Francisco Water Quality Facility that is working to confront rising water levels and more severe storm events. Led by representatives of the Bay Area Challenge and local stakeholders, this tour provides a unique opportunity to learn about how public access, development and essential infrastructure are becoming more resilient and equitable in the face of a changing Bay.

Transportation: Bus, Walking | Refreshments: Light refreshments will be provided. | Cost: $49