Sustainable Redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base
Our project to ensure the sustainable redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base began as a community-driven initiative in 2005 to reduce the many environmental health challenges--diesel pollution, noise, pedestrian and cyclist hazards, blight, and more--that are created when intense industrial land uses are interspersed with homes, parks, and schools in this low-income community of color. In 2006, when the decommissioned Oakland Army Base (OAB) was turned over to the City of Oakland and the Port of Oakland for redevelopment, West Oakland residents seized this rare opportunity to reduce land-use conflicts and simultaneously bring much needed jobs into the area by relocating and potentially growing local truck-attracting businesses onto the army base.
The goal of this project is to ensure the sustainable redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base by providing tactical research support and helping develop effective strategies for attaining the highest standards for community and worker health, local environmental impacts, and job quality. The Pacific Institute is working with community and economic justice partners including the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project and the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy to:
- Complete a research brief that defines sustainable and healthy economic development and shows that Oakland’s recycling industry can be a model for such sustainable development;
- Help develop environmental and workers’ health and safety standards and evaluate the impact of proposed development of the OAB on these community priorities;
- Conduct strategy-development sessions with economic justice and environmental health partners that integrate economic justice and community environmental health priorities into a shared vision--and identify effective ways to move this vision to reality.
This work builds on the relationships and the framework of “blue-green-brown” (labor-environment-neighbor) alliances that the Pacific Institute helped develop in our role as a steering committee member of the Oakland Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports.
A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with the developer of the former Base is one strategy for the community to directly negotiate the benefits that will meet their priorities, monitor the project’s impact as it moves forward, and hold the developer accountable for the agreement. Our October 2010 report Advancing Community Health
through Community Benefits Agreements -- Four Case Studies and Lessons for the
Redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base examines ways this strategy could benefit the West Oakland community.