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Land Use and Environment


Man shapes himself through decisions that shape his environment.

René Dubos

Cities and counties can have an enormous impact in shaping the physical environment of neighborhoods and the health and well-being of their residents. The Land Use and Environment Program provides resources to support local officials in their efforts to plan and develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. 

Resources Include:

  • The Basics of SB 375: Transportation, Housing and Greenhouse Gases
  • Building Public Support for Affordable Housing: A Toolbox for California Officials
  • An Ounce of Prevention: Best Practices for Making Informed Land Use Decisions
  • Financing Open Space Acquisition Programs
  • Farmland Preservation Action Guide
  • Understanding the Habitat Conservation Planning Process in California
  • Land Use One-Pagers
  • The Name Game: Housing Related Acronyms and Terms

Program Spotlight: Addressing Climate Change through Local and Regional Planning

AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, gives the California Air Resources Board authority over sources of greenhouse gas emissions, including cars and light trucks.

Senate Bill 375 builds on the existing regional planning framework to align plans for housing with transportation plans in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicle trips.

Because SB 375 maintains local authority over land use and because the existing regional planning process is overseen by local elected officials selected by their peers to serve on regional agency boards, the success of SB 375 relies on the actions taken by local officials.

The Institute is working with the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties to provide local officials with resources to help them carry out these new responsibilities. 

Related Institute Programs

  • California Climate Action Network (CCAN)
  • Collaborative Governance Initiative (CGI) 


Steve Sanders
Program Director, Land Use and Environment
E-mail Steve


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