Downtown Berkeley Finds Traction: Private Investment, Public Improvements and On-Going Stewardship

A Regional Urban Design presentation

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Free, all are welcome (bring your lunch)! Please RSVP for room setup.

1.5 CES LUs

Downtown Berkeley is booming! From mixed-use infill to micro-units, the projects that have been approved since the Downtown Berkeley Plan was adopted have been nothing less than controversial. From concerns about infrastructure, affordable housing and the “Manhattanization” of Berkeley, residents have been vocal. But what are some of the economic and cultural benefits that the City anticipates, and why have they so strongly incentivized development within the city limits?

Matt Taecker AIA, AICP, Taecker Planning & Design, and Mark Rhoades, AICP, Rhoades Planning Group and Former Planning Manager, will discuss the upcoming changes to downtown Berkeley as more than 1,400 units are added to the housing mix. Free and open to all.

About the presenters:

Mark Rhoades, AIACP, Rhoades Planning Group
Mark Rhoades, AICP, has over 20 years of experience as a land use planner in both public and private sectors. Between 1998 and August 2007, he served as City Planning Manager for the City of Berkeley during a period of unprecedented development activity and increasing politicization of land use. Mr. Rhoades has been acknowledged for his professional leadership by the City of Berkeley, and by the American Planning Association (APA), which awarded Berkeley the California State Chapter Award for Distinguished Leadership in 2003 for the City’s infill development program, which he designed. He is a speaker at various professional conferences and has lectured extensively at UC Berkeley and San Jose State University.

As Berkeley’s City Planning Manager and Zoning Officer, Mr. Rhoades was responsible for both policy development and implementation. His major efforts revolved around infill and new transit-oriented development while achieving a high degree of responsiveness to neighborhood issues. Approximately 2,400 housing units were built or approved during Mr. Rhoades’ tenure in Berkeley’s Planning Department.

Matt Taecker, AIA, AIACP, Taecker Planning & Design
For twenty-five years, Matt Taecker has developed innovative area plans, city plans, development codes, and mixed-use master plans. His firm negotiates economic, environmental and social challenges by applying the leading edge of best practices in urbanism and environmental sustainability.

Taecker’s award-winning work is known nationally and internationally. Most recently, he developed Berkeley’s Downtown Area Plan. Taecker was a founding partner of Catalyst, a firm integrating best urban and ecological practices. And for a decade, he was a Principal at Calthorpe Associates, where he developed many of the first transit-oriented development design guidelines and new urban master plans.

Taecker has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia, and has taught urban design at the University of Southern California, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley — where he earned Master in Architecture and Master of City Planning degrees. His undergraduate degree focused on urban policy and economics at the University of Chicago.

Learning Objectives:

1. Attendees will be able to state at lease two “best practices” for high-density city centers from the perspective of both community acceptance and social/economic/environmental performance.

2. Attendees will be able to state how high-level visioning and policies can be effectively translated into ready-to-go implementation.

3. Attendees will be able to identify at least two considerations critical to attracting infill development and ensuring that it fully leverages community benefits.

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