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California Planning Low-Carbon Oasis Where Cars Aren't King

Dec 17, 2012
Source: 
(Reuters)

Vacant industrial land near salt marshes and a derelict rail bridge seem like an odd setting for the beginnings of a lifestyle revolution in scenic California, but planners in the San Francisco Bay suburb of Newark view it as just that.

With an eye on the state's new land-use laws to cut carbon output, Newark's city council just voted to convert 200 acres owned largely by chemical companies into a development that should set the trend for a state bent on decarbonizing its economy, the world's ninth largest.

The marshes could be turned over to birds, satisfying environmentalists, or paved over with single family homes, like most of the Bay Area.

Newark planners envision something different, which might satisfy both - or neither: 2,500 new homes, mostly townhouses and apartments, built within walking distance of stores and schools and connected by a new train to jobs across the Bay.