Connecting Communities 2019

Connecting Communities: An event series for transportation and housing solutions that advance climate protection and social equity

Transportation and housing are two of the biggest challenges facing the Bay Area. How can we meet these challenges in ways that also address climate change and social and economic inequity? This work is already underway locally, and there are inspiring lessons to be learned from other regions. Find out more about the connections between housing, transportation, climate, and equity, and what you can do to make the Bay Area and your community more just, sustainable, and livable.

These free events will take place online and around the Bay Area in September and October 2019. Bookmark this page and check back for more details including additional speakers, dates and locations, and how to watch online, or just contact us.

The Connecting Communities series is produced by TransForm with an incredible team of co-hosts. We are currently seeking financial sponsorships for the series; please contact Dave Severy to learn more about perks and sponsorship levels

How is Housing Policy Climate Policy? 

There are many different state and local policies targeting climate action, but are they overlooking the critical connections between housing and climate change? The truth is that many current housing policies work to undermine our ability to reduce transportation emissions — the biggest source of climate pollution in California. Then there’s how housing policy plays into questions of environmental justice, equity, and affordability, not to mention the important issue of building electrification.

Come learn about these connections, and how you can help support housing policy that moves us toward climate solutions and justice.


  • Chris Jones will discuss the GHG benefits of infill housing, based on his recent studies highlighted in the Coolclimate tool and this New York Times op-ed.
  • Bruce Nilles of the Rocky Mountain Institute will discuss the importance of building electrification and linkages with housing policy. See his op-ed in the New York Times.
  • Nina Rizzo manages GreenTRIP certification at TransForm and will discuss how multi-family housing can reduce traffic, parking, and GHG emissions while improving affordability and transportation options.
  • Moderator: David Garcia, Policy Director at the Terner Center at UC Berkeley. Hosts: Urban Environmentalists

Date and location: Thursday, October 17, at SPUR Oakland, 1544 Broadway

Registration link coming soon! Contact Urban Environmentalists to get an update when registration opens.

Co-Hosts: Urban Environmentalists, San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, SPUR

A More Coordinated Transit Network: Learning from other regions

How have other regions brought fragmented, disconnected transit systems together to create a more customer-focused network? How can this make transit easier and faster for all, and create major climate and equity benefits? The Bay Area can learn from both US and international examples. Speakers from Germany, Nordic countries, and other North American regions who have dealt with similar challenges will share what’s possible. Organizers, transit advocates, and practitioners who are daunted by the institutional change that is necessary will come away motivated and inspired.

Date and location: Wednesday, October 23, at SPUR Oakland, 1544 Broadway

Registration link coming soon! Contact Seamless Bay Area to get an update when registration opens.

Co-hosts: Seamless Bay Area, Friends of Caltrain, SPUR

Webinar: Saving Local Transit in the Bay Area and Beyond

Christof Spieler, author of Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit, will discuss how to strengthen local transit, putting the Bay Area’s transit challenges in context with other regions around the country. Spieler will discuss strategies to revive interest in transit and boost ridership locally and regionally, in conversation with a local transit advocate and a transit agency representative.

Date and location: Wednesday, October 30, online

Time: 12 pm - 1:30 pm

Click here to register 

Co-hosts: Island Press, TransForm 

Connecting the Dots: How Public Policy Can Improve Your Commute

There’s a lot we can do to decrease congestion and improve commutes in the Bay Area without building expensive new roads and infrastructure. Toll lanes and other pricing strategies, carpooling and vanpools, trip caps, and employer-based programs can all make an impact. Come learn what’s already happening in the Bay Area, what’s working elsewhere, and what to watch and advocate for so commuting gets better in the future, not worse.

Co-hosts: Association for Commuter Transportation Northern CA chapter, Prospect Silicon Valley

How to Get More Homes with Less Driving

The Bay Area desperately needs to build more homes to address the housing affordability crisis, but we don’t want to worsen the climate crisis or our traffic nightmare. You can advocate for affordable homes with great transportation options that will help make your community more healthy and connected. Join us to:

  • Learn about the connections between housing affordability, traffic reduction, and climate change;
  • Hear how communities are planning and building in ways that reduce the need to drive
  • See how you can help make your community more walkable, affordable, and transit-friendly.

Co-hosts: TransForm, Friends of Caltrain, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Silicon Valley Independent Living Center

Getting Downtowns Moving with Convenient and Sustainable Access

Many downtowns in the Bay Area are facing some version of this challenge: Customers and workers, residents and visitors all need to be able to get downtown, and parking can be a barrier. In this session, experts will discuss a variety of strategies to improve downtown access that also help reduce congestion and improve the environment, including:

Co-hosts:  APA Young Planners Group, San Jose Dept of Transportation, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

Assessing Big Transportation Ideas for the Bay Area

Local transportation innovators have ingenious plans to get the Bay Area moving more quickly, affordably, and sustainably. These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas — they are finalists that MTC has been studying for potential inclusion in the Bay Area’s long-term regional plan. Learn about ideas like a next-generation regional express bus network running on highway express lanes, integrated fares and transfers across all transit systems, and a bicycle superhighway alongside major Bay Area freeways with protected bike lanes to downtown centers. Learn how these ideas and others fared as part of MTC’s Transformative Transportation Project Performance Assessment.

Co-hosts: TransForm, MTC, SPUR, Seamless Bay Area 


Connecting Communities Co-Hosting organizations: