Growing Smarter Together Awards 2013

The ABAG annual Growing Smarter Together Awards Program showcases the positive work being undertaken by cities, towns and counties in the Bay Area as it relates to a Bay Area vision and smart growth principles being advanced through the FOCUS Initiative. Awards will be presented as part of the ABAG Spring General Assembly.

Award categories include both personal and program or project-oriented work and urban design.

Descriptions and videos of winners are below.

Seventh Annual ABAG Growing Smarter Together Awards

Local Governments and Agencies Honored for Sustainability Projects

The Cities of El Cerrito and Dublin joined Santa Clara County and its Planning and Facilities and Fleet Departments in receiving ABAG's 2013 Growing Smarter Together Awards for their outstanding projects. Presented during ABAG's Spring General Assembly, the five 2013 awards highlighted innovative efforts in revitalization, planning, and sustainable energy that helped create complete healthy communities and promote conservation efforts protecting vital natural, scenic, and agricultural resource areas.

  • Welcome from ABAG's President

  • Urban Design Award
    to the City of El Cerrito Recycling & Environmental Resource Center

    El Cerrito's new recycling-community education facility is innovatively designed on a horseshoe shaped old quarry, a circular movement metaphor of the recycling process and features zero net energy use, solar photovoltaic energy production, rainwater catchment, native landscaping and rain gardens, use of recycled steel, aluminum and wood materials, and innovative educational signage. The program is a model of waste reduction and recycling, a safe accessible one-stop shop supporting residents' efforts to reduce their environmental footprint.

  • Public Private Partnership Award
    to the County of Santa Clara & Stanford University

    The milestone planning effort between the County and Stanford University/Palo Alto was designed to meet the county green building ordinance using an alternate means and equivalency process for LEED Silver credits. It is a model of how collaboration and commitment to environmental sustainability can achieve effective streamlined planning, at the same time supporting Stanford's more sustainable solutions campus wide rather than metrics for one building.

  • Preserving and Protecting the Environment
    to the County of Santa Clara, Planning Department

    The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan provides for the protection of approximately 50,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat in Santa Clara County over the next 50 years and is recognized as the largest multi-species Habitat Plan in Northern California and one of the largest regional multi-species plans in the Western United States benefiting more than 21 important plant and wildlife species. A landmark collaboration between local jurisdictions and state and federal agencies, the plan provides a streamlined and consolidated method of endangered species permitting for local projects, creating a mechanism for streamlining and assisting important capital improvement projects, while ensuring that the most critical habitat areas are preserved in perpetuity.

  • Sharing the Benefits Award
    to the City of Dublin for Emerald Vista

    The City of Dublin's Emerald Vista is a model development exemplifying community revitalization: the renovation of public housing known as Arroyo Vista into a new neighborhood which avoided displacement of past residents while promoting a mixed income community with 188 units of affordable housing and 198 market rate town homes and single family homes. Done in partnership with Eden Housing and KB Homes, the City of Dublin leveraged the land value (23 acres) through Dublin's local inclusionary housing policy to create an entirely new community that includes a community center, childcare center, active open space areas, and access to regional trail along Alamo Creek.

  • Start it Up Award
    to the County of Santa Clara, Facilities & Fleet Department

    Santa Clara County Photovoltaic Project demonstrates leadership and commitment to making communities sustainable through technology and renewable energy. The Photovoltaic Project is a model example of multi-agency procurement of renewable energy utilizing an innovative power purchase agreement. It also created a model for creating green communities and green energy jobs with installation of solar Photovoltaic systems at eight different County facilities, which will save the County $18.8 million over the 25 year system lifetime and offset 100% for certain facilities' energy needs giving buildings "zero net energy" status.

Note: These award videos are all .mp4 files, which can be played in Windows Media Player.

Windows Media Player is probably already on your computer, but, if not, is available as a free download at

Descriptions and videos of other previous award winners are below.

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