America’s Smart Growth Comes to South San Francisco

South San Francisco, California March 20, 2023

We continue to receive feedback from residents who ask about changes in our city that are being implemented without the participation of residents or voting on specific issues. (corners, speed bumps, limited parking, etc.) This is under consideration by our city council and is one of the many ideas that neighbors would like to hear about as it is being rolled out under the leadership of Smart Growth America and Complete the Street Leadership Academy.

While most residents believe that local voters have the greatest say in the governance of our city/county/state/country, it is important to recognize the influence of a world leader in our daily lives through the numerous NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) created. Below is information for those who are interested, with many links to meet our readers where they understand current events.


A PUBLIC HEARING on this issue will take place at our Council meeting this Wednesday evening, March 22, in the MSB Council Chamber. More information can be found CLICK HERE. The specific paragraph reads: Resolution Report Authorizing the Acceptance of a $15,000 Grant from Smart Growth America to Support the City’s Participation in the Complete Streets Leadership Academy with Caltrans. (Christopher Espiritu, Senior Transport Planner)

Here is some information about the many different NGOs helping to manage the future of our city and our world.


Smart Growth America empowers communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to create livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. We work with elected officials at all levels, developers, chambers of commerce, transportation and urban planners, and residents to improve the daily lives of people across the country through better development.

From their site:

“We envision a country where no matter where you live or who you are, you can enjoy life in a healthy, prosperous and sustainable place.”

Regions shape our lives. Where we live can affect our health, our economic potential and the future of our children. Everyone in America, regardless of age, ability, income, or race, deserves the opportunity to live in an affordable, convenient, beautiful, and safe place.

Smart growth means reinvesting in America’s downtowns and main streets, which are the engines of the economy of cities and towns alike. Smart growth means building houses for families of all income levels close to each other in places where everyday needs are close by. Smart growth means diversifying our transportation system so that Americans have a choice of ways to get around. Smart growth means building streets that are safe for pedestrians, cyclists or assistive devices of any kind, and for driving. Smart growth means protecting our open green spaces for future generations.

Above all, it’s about helping every city become a more economically prosperous, socially just and environmentally sustainable place to live, helping everyone to thrive.

Also of interest is 15-MINUTE CITIES, which reimagines urban land use from suburbs to urban areas, including South San Francisco.


Full Streets are streets designed and operated to ensure safe use and mobility for all users. These include people of all ages and abilities, whether they travel as drivers, walkers, cyclists or public transport passengers.

From the California Department of Transportation website:

full streets

Please visit the Federal Highway Administration activities information to promote Complete Streets.

Complete streets are streets designed and operated to ensure safe use and support mobility for all users. These include people of all ages and abilities, whether they travel as drivers, walkers, cyclists or public transport passengers. The Complete Street concept includes many approaches to planning, designing and operating roads and right of way with all users in mind to make the transport network safer and more efficient. Complete Street policies are set at the state, state, and local levels and are often supported by road design guidelines.

Complete Street’s approaches vary depending on the context of the community. They can address a wide range of elements such as sidewalks, bike lanes, bus lanes, public transit stops, crossing options, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, modified vehicle lanes, cityscape and landscape treatments. Full streets reduce the risk of traffic accidents and pedestrians, as well as the risk to cyclists, if well-designed cycling infrastructure is included (Reynolds, 2009). They can promote walking and cycling by providing safer places to get physical activity through transportation. One study found that 43% of people who reported a place to walk were significantly more likely to follow current recommendations for regular physical activity than those who reported no place to walk (Powell, Martin, Chowdhury, 2003).

United Nations: 17 goals to transform our world

This resilience trend comes from the United Nations on the global stage, filtered with the intention of realizing these 17 key goals in every city. Click here to read the continuation.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action for all countries—poor, rich and middle-income—to prosper while protecting the planet. They recognize that poverty eradication must go hand in hand with policies that promote economic growth and address a range of social needs, including education, health, social protection and employment opportunities, while addressing climate change and protecting the environment. More important than ever, the goals provide a critical foundation for post-COVID-19 recovery.

Many people may have heard the buzzword “Agenda 2030” which is a timetable set by the United Nations to achieve specific goals – read more CLICK HERE

World Economic Forum

In addition, many have heard of BIG RESET and the World Economic Forum, which manages most of our local mandates. The WEF was founded in 1992 and has made great strides since the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns around the world. Stakeholders, made up of senior officials and business leaders led by Chairman Klaus Schwab, meet annually in Davos to find additional ways to continue their agenda globally. The 2019 Davos meeting included live drills to prepare public and private leaders for pandemic response that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic and was led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. The annual meetings are producing interesting results that more people should know about as we see changes in our daily lives, in our global world.

Since their decisions come down to outcomes that affect all of us, it’s helpful to get an overview to better understand how it affects every aspect of our lives, as shown in their chart below. Click here for more information

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