Building A Better Oakland: Tell Us Your Ideas!


Amazing news for Sustainable Communities!

Yesterday the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Oakland’s own PolicyLink as one of eight organizations to be awarded funding to continue work on the federal Sustainable Communities Initiative. Here’s more from the official press release on HUD.Gov:

In an historic collaborative effort to assure the success of previous federal investments, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today competitively awarded $5.65 million to eight organizations to help existing federal grantees work together to solve common problems. These organizations will form capacity-building networks among the grantees to exchange ideas on successful strategies, lessons learned, emerging tools, and public engagement plans. This work will strengthen the capacity grantee communities to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, make more efficient investments in water and wastewater infrastructure, and build vibrant, healthy and economically prosperous neighborhoods for American families.

You can also read more about the award in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, which includes a call to action for Oakland residents to volunteer and do their part in helping build a safer, stronger city.

Do you have thoughts and ideas on how to build a better Oakland? Share them with us in the comments!

3 Responses to “Building A Better Oakland: Tell Us Your Ideas!”

  1. avatar

    The city should foster stronger senses of identity both within its many neighborhoods as well as for the city as a whole. Are we, in fact, the "new Brooklyn?" Let's take a look at Brooklyn's renaissance / rebirth over the last five or so years and see what we can learn from them.
    Also, just some basics. Let's make sure our sidewalks and streets are safe by filling potholes, improving lighting, pruning bushes and trees (and planting new ones, where needed), having bicycle patrols or on-foot patrols (police) in neighborhoods, enhancing crosswalks, and ensuring signage tells drivers speed limits and other information. Make sure there are enough bus stops, that they are well-marked and maintained. Make sure there are enough garbage cans and recycling bins in public spaces. Paint over graffiti and work to fill empty businesses and homes with nonprofits, Habitat for Humanity beneficiaries, and other worthwhile people and groups. Vacant lots and buildings are not only an eyesore, they are depressing to the spirit.

  2. avatar

    We need a disaster plan for the city that goes beyond the temporary to address the possibility that the financial/technical/political infrastructure of the USA could collapse for an indefinite period of time. Can we visualize a city that has typical goals as well as plans to address the unthinkable? Those plans might help drive new ideas and possibilities that have a more positive angle, as well.

  3. avatar

    We need to encourage the affluent residents of Oakland to reduce their (in some cases) "island" mentality and care about the whole city, not just their little corner of it, by investing their time, talents and money in programs that improve services that benefit all (recycling and waste management, public education and libraries, arts, farmers' markets and other food programs, etc.). Groups with specific mandates and a stated goal of diversity in composition (socioeconomic, racial, religious, etc.) could help drive these types of programs.

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