Join the Sustainable Systems Lab Class (3/19) and Help Create a Greener Oakland

Env. photo 2-27-15
Instructor and Urban Planner Dr. David Ralston leads a group of students from the Sustainable Systems Lab class to a lab site on San Leandro Creek.


Are you interested in a class where you would help plan projects that would “green” underserved areas in Oakland while resisting displacement? The Environmental Science and Technology Program is looking for more people to join its “Sustainable Systems” class  (ENVMT 2L, #25334, 1-credit lab, ) starting Thursday, March 19 to May 22,   from 6:30-9:30 at Self-Reliant House. (Apply and/or enroll here.) Apart from learning about sustainable systems, the class offers the chance to learn and apply these teachings in several exciting projects. It is a great opportunity to develop skills that are useful, practical and marketable for a future career in the Green Industry – such as environmentally sustainable urban planning, community engagement, GIS mapping, and nonprofit skills.  It is also an AMAZING opportunity to help shape development in Oakland neighborhoods in an alternative way to corporate-driven development-as-usual.

The three main projects we will be working on:

 1.  San Leandro Creek Greenway: This project involves creating more public access to the creek, putting in a paved walking/biking trail, raising water levels to allow the Rainbow Trout to resume their journey to the Bay, partnering with schools and other organizations for educational programs, engaging the local community in the planning and design process, etc. (GIS training and Paid Internships available)

 2.  “Priority Conservation Area” Planning in Oakland:  Based on input from environmental and social justice organizations in Oakland, as well as information from the environmental justice tool CalEnviroScreen, we will be putting together a map of areas that are designated as having priority for greening projects.  The final map will go to the City of Oakland, which has agreed to apply for federal dollars for these projects.

 3.  Golden Gate neighborhood planning for Development without Displacement (as a “Priority Development Area”): This project involves partnering with Destiny Arts and other organizations to work on applying for federal funds to help working-class residents hold on to their homes while at the same time greening and improving the neighborhood, through “transit-oriented development” money.

 4. Sign up and do your own  project w/ instructor support!

For anyone who has not taken the Pre-requisite class of ENVMT2, please contact Robin Freeman  ( regarding eligibility for the PRE-REQ WAIVER . We can help people register, one-on-one,as  we are having some problems with the Passport system.