Urban Ecology is pleased to announce the release of our Telegraph-Northgate neighborhood plan. Working with community members, the City of Oakland, and the Telegraph-Northgate Neighborhood Association (TNNA), UE has helped this low-income neighborhood, just north of downtown Oakland, define its vision for the future.

The plan is the culmination of six community workshops and focus groups; two years of association meetings; and collective analysis, planning, and design. It is a vision for the neighborhood, put forth by the members of the community. The plan reflects input from the people who make up the neighborhood: property owners and renters, recent immigrants and deep-rooted households, artists and entrepreneurs, bus riders and bicyclists, small businesses and customers, people living with disabilities and their social workers. The plan involved many individuals who had never before discussed zoning, development or urban form, in conversations that took place in English and Korean.

The plan seeks to balance social needs, the natural environment, and the local economy, and recommends policies and urban design solutions to address the neighborhood’s challenges. It includes:

Proposals for attracting retail that fulfills the community’s day-to-day needs;
Traffic calming strategies so that pedestrians and bicyclists are favored on neighborhood streets;
A community center with a library for merchants and residents who want to bolster an active civic life;
Designs for restoring nature by lining the streets with trees and transforming parking lots into parks;
Private and public funding sources to realize the plan.

UE and TNNA will use the plan to advocate for the neighborhood’s vision. Over the next year, UE will further develop the streetscape design for Telegraph Avenue. TNNA will seek staff to assist with organizing and overseeing infrastructure improvements. Both organizations will continue to work with developers to see that the neighborhood’s retail and affordable housing needs are met.