Plan Downtown Oakland Alternatives Report Meeting
The planning team has used information from the Priority Development Area Profile existing conditions report and community feedback from a series of public meetings (starting with the Plan Downtown Oakland charrette in September 2015) to develop and evaluate a set of draft policy and design options for the final Downtown Oakland Specific Plan. Initial drafts were presented to the public at a community meeting on February 1st at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts.
The presentation was preceded by an open house and reception and kicked off with music by local musicians led by Val Serrant. Speakers included Councilmember Lynette McElhaney; Assistant City Administrator Claudia Cappio; Interim Race & Equity Department Director Dante James; Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (ISEEED) Co-Founder Antwi Akom; local artist Hiroko Kurihara and Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships Jose Corona.
The presentation included discussion of development, affordability, race, arts and equity issues in the Downtown, an update on citywide City of Oakland initiatives to address these issues, and initial illustrations of potential results of policy and design options that could help the Downtown meet some of the community's goals for appropriate growth and development.
This meeting kicked off a series of meetings for the Plan Alternatives Report. Once the report is published, it will be taken to several advisory boards and other meetings and will be open to the community for feedback. The input given during this two-month period will lead to a preferred alternative, which will form the basis of a more detailed and specific plan. The team will analyze that preferred alternative to determine its potential environmental impacts.
The draft neighborhood concepts, goals and policies that were posted on display boards and discussed during the open house are available here. To view these documents, please visit the following links:
- Goals and Policy Options: Goals and themes that have emerged from the Plan Downtown process to date. By theme, these boards summarize concerns and opportunities we've heard about and identify potential ways the specific plan can address them.
- Community Engagement: Description of the process used so far to engage the community in this conversation, including a description of the ongoing youth engagement process facilitated by UC Berkeley's Center for Cities and Schools.
- Neighborhood Design Concepts: Illustrations of alternative futures for each neighborhood Downtown (with the exception of Chinatown, which was studied and planned for six years during the Lake Merritt Station Area/Chinatown Specific Plan, elements of which will be integrated into this plan), including options for height, density, and public space. Click here to download a lower-resolution version of the neighborhood design concepts.
- Existing City Initiatives: Citywide projects and programs either existing or in progress, including housing, cultural arts and marketing, arts and entertainment, artist housing, and housing programs.
The opening presentation file is available here:
Outreach materials for the February 1st meeting were distributed in both English and Chinese, and Cantonese interpretation was available at the meeting. The outreach materials are available here:
Open house participants were invited to write their comments on topical boards and to fill out exit surveys. Transcriptions and scans of these responses are available at the links below:
- Transcription of Comment Board Notes
- Comment Boards
- Transcription of Exit Survey Responses
- Exit Surveys
Dozens of middle school through college-aged youth came to City Hall for the Plan Downtown Youth Summit on March 16th. Greeted by Councilmember Abel Guillen and Mayor's Chief of Staff, participants learned about community planning, saw presentations from other students who are consulting on the Downtown Specific Plan for a school project, and did a "speed planning" exercise in groups. The speed planning was led by the UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools Y-PLAN program and helped the young attendees give their feedback to the City about what would make a more sustainable, equitable and youth-friendly Downtown.