Oakland's Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

This page provides general information about the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) as well as instructions for how to submit your own capital project idea through our public request form when it opens during each two-year capital budget cycle.

Recent Updates

The City of Oakland is currently developing the Fiscal Year 2023-2025 (FY23-25) Capital Improvement Program. The public portal for submitting project ideas is now closed. Updates on the CIP will be posted on this page throughout the fall of 2022. Those who have submitted project ideas in this cycle will receive updates regarding their submissions to the email address they provided on the online form. Please use the "Sign Up for CIP Updates" link above to receive general updates regarding the CIP.

About the Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

Above is the timeline for each 2-year cycle of the CIP, outlining how capital project requests made by community members become part of the CIP.
Above is the timeline for each 2-year cycle of the CIP, outlining how capital project requests made by community members become part of the CIP.

What is a Capital Project?

The City of Oakland’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) guides the City’s long-term, strategic decisions regarding the construction, repair and replacement of the City’s assets including libraries, public safety facilities, sewers, recreation centers and parks. Transportation and street improvements are also part of the City’s CIP. The City develops a new CIP Budget every two years for inclusion in the overall City Budget, and the assets identified for repair, replacement or purchase in a budget cycle become CIP Projects.

During each cycle, the City seeks feedback to identify and select priority projects. In the fall season of even years, the City will open a public portal for project request submissions by community members to be prioritized for the next fiscal cycle, which begins on July 1 of odd years. When the portal is active, it will be accessible on this page.

There is also an interactive map of current projects available on this webpage. We will update the map monthly with contact information for each project or program. The map includes filters like project type and council district that community members can use when searching for projects. The “CIP Projects Interactive Map” is linked at the top of this page. See the most recent CIP book documenting projects submitted during the Fiscal Year 2021-2023 cycle here.

The graphic above describes the five types of capital projects accepted under the Capital Improvement Program.
The graphic above describes the five types of capital projects accepted under the Capital Improvement Program.

Capital projects included in the CIP are any large-scale, long-term investment that builds, replaces, or improves an asset (e.g. buildings, roads, parks, sewer, drainage lines, etc.). According to the CIP, capital projects should have a design life of at least ten years and a minimum cost of approximately $100,000.

Before capital projects become official CIP projects, they undergo a prioritization process, where City staff identify assets for repair, replacement, or purchase in the next budget cycle. When the City Council adopts the biennial budget, projects become a part of the two-year CIP. Some of these capital projects are standalone project ideas, while others are part of existing CIP programs that contain specific planning processes.

It's important to highlight that capital projects differ from maintenance projects, which are not within the CIP. Maintenance projects are typically smaller in scale/cost and refer to more urgent short-term repairs to ensure vital city assets remain operational. For urgent maintenance requests (e.g., potholes, graffiti removal, etc.), you can navigate to the City's Oak 311 service, which handles these more routine fixes. Please be advised that Oak 311 receives hundreds of requests and may not be able to respond to your concern immediately.

This table differentiates between capital projects and maintenance, providing more detail on what to consider before submitting a project to the CIP. Use the City's Oak 311 service when submitting any maintenance issues.
This table differentiates between capital projects and maintenance, providing more detail on what to consider before submitting a project to the CIP. Use the City's Oak 311 service when submitting any maintenance issues.

How a Capital Project is Formed

See this summary for the nine criteria the City of Oakland considers when prioritizing projects for funding. The chart shows definitions for each prioritization factor and the number of points each receives according to the CIP process approved by the City Council.
See this summary for the nine criteria the City of Oakland considers when prioritizing projects for funding. The chart shows definitions for each prioritization factor and the number of points each receives according to the CIP process approved by the City Council.

In 2018, the Oakland City Council adopted a new, inclusive forum for Oakland community members to incorporate their feedback and introduce new project ideas to be considered for the CIP selection process.

Along with it came a new CIP Prioritization Model that would weigh the urgency and projected impact of applicant projects to ensure effective allocation of City dollars. The CIP prioritization process approved by the Oakland City Council scores projects on the factors listed above in the figure.

With every CIP cycle, City staff will also facilitate community engagement with Oakland residents and community members to gather input on existing and potential CIP projects, focusing on priority neighborhoods. Past community engagement has included online and text surveys, online focus groups, door hangers and door knocking. For the last two CIP cycles, the City has collaborated with community-based organizations (CBOs) that have helped facilitate the development of CIP proposals with community members and have informed the City of community member priorities.

Following the submission of CIP ideas, City staff will use the CIP prioritization process to score projects and determine their feasibility given the City's financial and operational constraints within the upcoming two-year budget. Staff will present CIP recommendations to the City Council for approval for the next biennial budget cycle.

It is important to note that not all projects included in the CIP will receive funding in the two year funding cycle. Being included in the CIP is a necessary first step that allows City staff to seek funding for a capital project. Some or all of the funding required to complete a capital project may be included in the two year budget—but more often than not, the City will have to seek additional funding from sources like State grants or public bonds. In either case, these funds are often dedicated to a specific purpose (for example paving roads) and the City may not have the ability to use them for a different purpose (for example renovating a recreation center). However, even when there is not an identified funding source for your capital project, there is still value in submitting your request, because it ensures your project will be in line to be considered for funding when it does become available.

The CIP Process in Motion

The City of Oakland has more demand for capital projects than it has funds to pay for them, which is why the CIP must be intentional about how to score and prioritize potential project ideas generated internally and from public submissions. Community engagement continues to be critical for uplifting the community's real needs—as articulated by community members themselves—to determine priority capital investments. Using the City's prioritization factors (pictured above), the City assigns each project an overall score based on the criteria listed.

City staff present their recommendations to the City Council as part of the budget development process. Once the recommendations are provided to Council, Council holds public meetings to deliberate and adopt a final budget. This is another opportunity for community members to be involved in the process. The dates and times for those meetings are variable each cycle; however, the City Council must adopt its Budget and CIP by June 30 before the beginning of the fiscal year.

Since 2015 the CIP budget has grown significantly, giving it an important role in building new city infrastructure.
Since 2015 the CIP budget has grown significantly, giving it an important role in building new city infrastructure.

The CIP Budget represents a significant investment in our community. It reflects the overall priorities of the City and has an enormous impact on its health and vibrancy. CIP dollars can bring about entirely new community-envisioned changes and speed up the completion of existing projects that may face challenges because of funding shortages.

Links / Additional CIP Info

Find links to additional CIP-related information below.

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