Over the past year and a half, SPARCC sites have demonstrated their ability to set bold goals to advance racial equity, health, and climate resilience in their regions and, perhaps more importantly, to respond, adapt, and identify the challenges and opportunities emerging through their work. As we reach a midway point in the program, SPARCC has provided Innovation Grants to accelerate the most promising and exciting new ideas and strategies emerging from sites. Below are four SPARCC site projects that are turning ideas into action.
Denver: West Denver Single Family Plus (WDSF+) Pilot Program
The West Denver Renaissance Collaborative will support the implementation of the West Denver Single Family Plus (WDSF+) initiative. WDSF+ will support low-income homeowners in nine gentrifying West Denver neighborhoods with homeowner forums, connections to critical home and homeowner services, and a new accessory dwelling unit (ADU) development program. The WDSF+ initiative is a community-driven strategy that aims to minimize involuntary displacement. The initiative was recently one of three project awardees selected in the national Fannie Mae Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge.
Los Angeles: Equitable Park-Oriented Development
The Los Angeles SPARCC team is studying green space development as a solution to prevent displacement. The impact of transit investments on local communities has been studied for years, but the impact of park development in neighborhoods is relatively nascent. This work will help urban communities advocate for the types of green spaces that work best for their communities without added fears of displacement, and provides public agencies and stakeholders with ‘right-sized’ displacement protections to include in policies.
Atlanta + Bay Area Cross-site Proposal: Advancing Upstream Investments in Health Equity
To address health inequities caused by structural problems, the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) and the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI) will collaborate to develop a replicable model for increasing health systems’ capital investments to meet community health needs at the lowest possible cost. The cross-geographic team will design and implement small-scale, low-risk demonstration projects to determine the most effective approach for health system engagement. This project will focus on the specific tasks, relationships, meetings, networks, data, presentations, and other tools that advance institutions’ understanding of upstream investments into participation in local, capital investments.
Bay Area + Los Angeles Cross-site Proposal: ‘No Net Loss’ of Affordable Housing
SPARCC LA and SPARCC Bay Area will use a racial equity lens and deep community engagement to develop strategies for ‘no net loss’ of affordable homes (both income-restricted and unrestricted) near transit in their respective regions. BART has passed a ‘no net loss’ policy as part of their updated TOD Policy, and Los Angeles SPARCC members are advocating for the same as Metro is writing its first Transit Oriented Communities policy. If successful, the transit agencies of California’s largest and second largest metropolitan areas will be the first in the nation to implement tools and strategies for no net loss near transit. This will be a catalyst for other agencies in other regions to take action.