Applying Racial, Health, and Mobility Equity to Transit-Oriented Development: A Case Study Approach in East Oakland and Richmond

Research Team: Charisma Acey (lead) and Margaretta Lin

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Low-income communities of color living in neighborhoods that were previously redlined continue to face persistent racial disparities and inequities. These disparities manifest in various ways, including unequal exposure to pollution, limited access to transportation and safe streets, and inadequate provisions for essential aspects of life like health, safety, stable housing, clean air, education, and employment.

Project Description: To address these challenges and ensure that new investments in transportation infrastructure benefit these communities without worsening environmental disparities, gentrification, or displacement, this project adopts a case study approach in East Oakland and Richmond. The approach is guided by the principles of Community-Based Participatory Action Research. The project aims to achieve the following: 1) conduct a structured assessment to examine the impact of seemingly “race-neutral” transit-oriented development policies on the access of low-income residents to healthy environments, economic stability, housing, and a sense of community belonging, 2) utilize a combination of research methods–including data from public agencies and insights from the local community–to analyze the complex connections between transportation, air quality, land use, housing, displacement, and health outcomes at both regional and neighborhood levels, and 3) gain a deeper understanding of how ports and transportation systems, along with related policies, impact communities at both regional and neighborhood levels. Through these efforts, the researchers will seek to address the systemic issues that disproportionately affect marginalized communities and work towards equitable solutions to recommend to policymakers.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $99,845