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The Future of the American Crossroads: Diversity, Transportation, and Sustainable Urbanism in West Oakland, CA An Urban Design and Planning Perspective by Jonah Merris HARC 0432 - Race, Space & Place Professor Jennifer Hock Spring 2012


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CURRENT CONDITIONS


Percent Black or African American Percent by 2010 Census Tract in 2010

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15-27% 28-40% 41-54% 55-67%


Poverty Percentage of all people whose income in the past 12 months is below the poverty level, Percent by Census Track in 2006-2010

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13-25% 26-38% 39-51% 52-64%


Population Per Square Mile in 2010 by Block Group in Alameda County

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36,000-53,000 54,000-70,000 71,000-88,000

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17,600-35,000

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Below Market Rate Units Number of Subsidized Below Market Rate Housing Units by 2010 Census Tract, 2007-2010

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0-175

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176-350 351-520 521-700 701-870


Subsidized Housing Complexes Number of Housing Projects Receiving Federal Affordable Housing Subsidies by 2010 Census Tract

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3-5 6-8 9-11 12-16


LINEAR TRANSPORTATION

+

The primary means of transportation in West Oakland are confined to expensive, static, and inhuman infrastructure.


DIVERSITY AS DESTINATION

Emeryville

?

West Oakland Chinatown Jack London Square Fruitvale

Linear transporation strategies support linear development.


SEGREGATION

Moreover, linear transportation carves the city into separate units that radiate out from the businesscommercial center to peripheral suburban development.


Why reduce West Oakland to a stop on a regional transit system that prioritizes suburbs over established urban neighborhoods?


Let’s break the rules.

And weave a new transportation network in between the linear superstructure.


We can preserve the systems of yesterday...

...if we also provide alternatives to counteract their harm.


Alternatives that !"#$"%through the city in a $#&'"()%of ways.


SOURCES/PRECEDENTS


BIG/LOOP City

Separate master plans

Parallel strategies on the ring

Livable, sustainable urbanism


Oakland Streetcar Plan

The route

The development corridor

The scale


East Bay Greenway Link

Edge Continuation of original planning

Seam

“Green” pathways


1

Bring transportation back to a human scale that suits individual preferences.


2

Reintegrate West Oakland using the existing Mandela Parkway while also expanding/improving green space.

Mandela Parkway

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Emeryville

I-580

Temescal/Berkeley Rockridge/Hills

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...strengthen the narrow public green strip while disseminating pocket parks throughout the neighborhood.

I-880

Downtown

Green space can soften old industrial and transportation edge zones, welcoming the rest of the city in through attractive circulation features.


3

Encourage new business and industry across scales as well as the entire geography of the neighborhood.

A Sustainable Local Economy


3

Renovating and revitalizing older industrial areas while adding economic life to the residential streets.

Emeryville + North Oakland Shopping Centers

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akland

Industrial Manufacturing

Commerical Eateries Cultural Institutions Green Industry

Local Groceries Light Industry Creative Industries


Social, economic, and ethnic diveristy is imbedded in Oakland’s civic identity. The city’s design should not hinder its essential quality, but instead honor its greatest asset.


The Future of the American Crossroads - Design Perspective