Soil Analysis at People's Park: Jan. 19 - Feb. 16
UC Berkeley will temporarily close three areas of People’s Park for soil analysis. Public safety is our primary concern. Affected areas of the park will be temporarily closed to safely obtain soil samples, which involves drilling/boring into the ground by engineers.
Once samples are collected, temporarily closed areas of the park will reopen.
When an area temporarily closes, it will be cleared and fenced. To ensure public safety, there will be no day or overnight use in temporarily fenced areas.
At no time will the entire park be closed. No one will be forced to leave the park for the soil analysis work. However, they may need to temporarily relocate to another area of the park until the work concludes.
No trees are planned to be removed. Restrooms will be available for park users throughout the soil analysis work (access will be maintained via Haste Street).
Please visit the Chancellor's Housing Initiative website for more information about the shortage of available and affordable housing for UC Berkeley's students and untenured ladder faculty, and plans to address this urgent concern.
The shortage of available and affordable housing for Berkeley’s students is a matter of urgent concern for the campus and the community. At present, Berkeley has the lowest percentage of beds for its student body of any campus in the UC System, which is exacerbated by the fact that the campus is situated in one of the tightest housing markets in the country. As part of a comprehensive effort to address student needs, and the challenges facing the campus and its urban neighbors, in May 2018 the University announced plans to redevelop and revitalize People’s Park.
The proposed People’s Park Housing project will include three components: 1) student housing, 2) supportive housing with onsite services that help formerly homeless and lower-income persons live in dignity in the community and would be developed and managed by a non-profit partner under a ground lease with the University, and 3) open landscaped areas. The new student housing would help mitigate UC Berkeley’s severe student housing shortage, while the supportive housing will provide safe and supervised living that is affordable and permanent. The project design will also commemorate the legacy of People’s Park.
Following a public submissions process, in July 2019 the University chose two firms as partners in this effort. Resources for Community Development, a Berkeley based firm with over 35 years of experience, was selected to develop and operate the supportive housing component. The Bay Area architecture firm LMS (Leddy Maytum Stacy) has also been selected as Executive Architect to master plan the entire site and to design the student housing component.
The People’s Park Housing project is committed to a robust and ongoing public engagement process. Public engagement helps ensure our planning decisions are informed by the best possible understanding of the community’s needs and interests, as well as the diverse values and viewpoints of stakeholders on the campus and throughout the city.
The public engagement process has included a series of engagement activities with focus groups and individuals in late-2019 and early-2020. In February 2020, the project team conducted the first of three public open houses. The focus of the first open house was to learn about the legacy of People’s Park, provide the campus with an opportunity to share its vision of the potential for transformation, and solicit ideas, questions, comments and concerns from the public. The focus of the second open house in March 2020 was getting feedback about site plan concepts, input on commemoration themes and ideas, and to share information about UC Berkeley student housing and supportive housing in the Bay Area. The second open house allowed the project design team to test a variety of options in three scenarios. Materials from both previous open houses can be found here. Feedback received help create the finalized site plan that was featured in the third open house in April 2020, which incorporates elements from all three scenarios into one plan. The third open house was offered online, rather than in-person, due to the restrictions on public gatherings throughout California due to the spread of COVID-19. The third open house was the final opportunity for public comment during the early design phase of the project and featured four sections: a video overview of the project, an introduction to the project program, updates from the design process, and a brief survey.
The People's Park Housing project is in the early design phase and design work will continue throughout 2020. We anticipate completed schematic designs in early-2021. Meanwhile, the environmental review is beginning in spring 2020 and will be finalized after a public comment period in early-2021.
- This week in Government and Community Relations at UC Berkeley: 120+ Attend People's Park Open House - March 6, 2020
- This week in Government and Community Relations at UC Berkeley: People's Park Open House Attracts Large Crowd, Supporters and Performers - February 14, 2020
- Project Announcement - New UC Berkeley plans for People’s Park call for student, homeless housing - May 2018 (BerkeleyNews)
- Frequently asked questions about the plan for People’s Park - May 2018, Updated February 2020 (BerkeleyNews)
- New concept drawings hint at vision for People’s Park - May 2018 (BerkeleyNews)
Open House #3 - April 17, 2020
- Online open house, includes: a video overview of the project, an introduction to the project program, and updates from the design process
- Project information and engagement boards:
- Project Vision, Goals, Program and Timeline (PDF)
- What We Heard - Community Engagement and Emerging Themes (PDF)
- Creating On-Campus Housing - Supporting UC Berkeley Students and Our Community (PDF)
- Student Housing at UC Berkeley (PDF)
- People's Park Timeline (PDF)
- Neighborhood Context - Connectivity and Places of Interest (PDF)
- Testing Landscape Ideas:
- Quality of Open Space - Exploring and Testing Site Plan Options in Three Scenarios (PDF)
Open House #1 - February 10, 2020
- Project information and engagement boards (PDF)
- Supportive Housing - Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
UC Regents Finance and Capital Strategies Committee Meeting - January 2020
Urban Design Brief and Design Guidelines - June 2018