Building Climate Friendly Communities Campaign

The Building Climate Friendly Communities (BCFC) campaign is a grassroots effort to build public support for creating great neighborhoods around transit where residents can meet their daily needs conveniently without a car. BCFC addresses the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area: transportation.  This campaign is a long-term initiative to address transportation emissions by educating and organizing the public to support transit-oriented development.

Our Vision for San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties is for new development within the 1/4 mile surrounding major transit stations (ie: Caltrain, BART, Bus Rapid Transit) and transit corridors (ie: El Camino Real, downtowns) to meet the following goals:

  1. Mixed-use, compact development - New construction with well-thought out design that meets high quality standards and provides affordable homes.
  2. Community and Economic Development - Vibrant neighborhoods that promote a high quality of life, as well as local family businesses.
  3. Walkable Communities - Pedestrian priority that provides a comfortable and safe walking environment with access to everyday needs.
  4. Transportation Alternatives - Bicycling and public transportation options that are safe, convenient, and accessible for everyone.
  5. Energy and Resource Efficiency - Create minimal waste and pollution during construction and throughout the life of the development.

Issues Addressed: The campaign addresses many issues, namely the "three E's" of sustainability:

  • Environment - 50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, if we create great neighborhoods where people can easily meet their needs without a car, we can reduce this figure.  Additionally, building the city centers reduces pressure of development on agriculture and open space.
  • Equity - People of low income are more likely to take transit so it's vital to put them within walking distance of major transit stations, a major push of our campaign.  Additionally, planning our cities better will make it possible for people to lead more active lifestyles reducing high obesity rates.  Finally, reduced vehicle miles traveled also means better air quality and reduced asthma rates.
  • Economy - Lack of workforce housing in the Bay Area is one of the biggest issues for companies in our region and will continue to be as gas prices rise. Building more affordable workforce housing in the right places will improve the quality of life for employees, increasing productivity.

Our Strategy:  Cool Cities teams advocate for great neighborhoods with the technical support from our Sustainable Land Use Committee (SLU).  SLU provides the information necessary for Cool Cities teams and other residents to meaningfully participate in the public processes in their city.