Welcome to the first edition of a new update from Urban Ecology! In December, we polled you, our members, and here is what we heard:

– UE does a lot of worthwhile things, but you care most about the planning we provide to low-income neighborhoods and the advocacy we undertake for policies that improve livability. (As you will read on page 2, these two focus areas are exactly where UE’s recent strategic planning process pointed us.)

– Nearly half of you work as architects, planners or designers; you want to hear how we undertake our planning work in very diverse communities.

– You’d welcome an electronic newsletter to keep you up-to-date on our activities.

That’s where the Urban Ecology Update comes in. This first edition is the only one that will be printed and mailed. Subsequent issues will be emailed, but we need your email address! Please take a moment right now to send your email address to editor@urbanecology.org.

As you will read in this issue, it’s been a busy and productive year at Urban Ecology. We have completed a strategic plan, produced a neighborhood plan for one of the most diverse communities in California and helped to win $250,000 to improve a local park. Along the way, we won two prestigious awards – The Frederick P. Rose Architectural Fellowship and San Francisco Beautiful’s 2003 Beautification Award for our 16th Street BART Plaza redesign. Finally, we joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living by Design program, an extremely competitive initiative that links land use to healthy living. Please show your support for our work by making a contribution to Urban Ecology today and renewing your membership.

We hope you like the Update. Let us know what you think, and thanks,

Diana M. Williams, Executive Director