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Case Examples > SF Bay Area Transit-Oriented Development

SF Bay Area Transit-Oriented Development

Building Healthy Communities


To support the engagement of residents, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in a comprehensive approach to building healthy communities that promote physical activity, safety, and access to services through the development of tools and a collaborative infrastructure for land use planning throughout the Bay Area.

Lead organization

Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC)

Ann Cheng, Senior Planner
Jeff Hobson, Policy Director
405 14th Street, Suite 605, Oakland, CA 94612
Phone (510) 740-3150


Create a fully developed and implement-able toolkit with a wide range of advocacy and technical tools for residents, community leaders, planners, and city officials to use in integrating health and equitable development concerns into planning processes.

  1. Increase ability to identify opportunities for healthy development and influence planning to incorporate these opportunities.
  2. Increase understanding among Collaborative partners, residents, and the planning community of the strong link between health and land use.
  3. Increase levels of physical activity and pedestrian safety among residents near TOD station areas.
  4. Decrease levels of air pollutants from mobile sources, especially near TOD station areas.

Major Activities

  1. Coalition building around health and transit oriented development
  2. Education, training and leadership development around HIA, health, planning and land use
  3. Health opportunity assessment and health impact assessment of various sites

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where the high cost of living within densely built cities has led to the expansion of commuter suburbs into increasingly distant and rural communities, the impacts of sprawl on health are increasingly clear. For low-income residents in outlying parts of Contra Costa County, for example, only 33% have convenient walking or transit access to a health clinic, compared with 88% in dense, transit-served Alameda County.

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a strategy for reducing the public health and environmental impacts of sprawl by creating walkable communities that are centered around public transit hubs and close to essential services and amenities. TOD refers to development activity located along or within walking distance to transit routes that “mixes residential, retail, office, and public uses in a walkable environment, making it convenient for residents and employees to travel by transit, bicycle, or foot.” The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) represents a regional partnership of two community foundations and five leading advocacy organizations focused on regional growth issues, with expertise in affordable housing, equitable development, land use, transportation, and social equity. GCC is composed of Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC), the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, Urban Habitat Program, Greenbelt Alliance, Reconnecting America, the San Francisco Foundation, and the East Bay Community Foundation. TALC, founded in 1997, is coordinating GCC and will primarily act as a TA provider and convener.

project partners