Karen Chapple

About Karen Chapple (Edit profile)

Karen Chapple is an Professor of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in regional economic development (chapple@berkeley.edu).

Restricting New Infrastructure: Bad for Business in California?

Karen Chapple and Carrie Makarewicz

Planners throughout California are preparing to implement SB 375, a law that requires metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to consider the impact of land use decisions on climate change, and requires that future planning decisions reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among other provisions, the bill encourages municipalities and developers to concentrate infrastructure and development in urban areas or close to public transit hubs in order to reduce vehicle use. The bill also includes a number of provisions to better coordinate the provision of housing and transportation infrastructure. SB 375 could have profound effects on California’s cities. If MPOs and local governments change their housing, transportation, and land use plans in response to the law, then infrastructure funds, private investment, and housing will likely be steered into more compact patterns, and development will occur primarily in places where it already exists.

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