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Cornell team wins APA Student Design Competition with “Fruit Pad”

Fruit Pad affordable housing proposal by Kevin Kim (M.L.A./M.R.P.), Lera Covington (M.P.S./M.R.P.), Jeanette Petti (M.L.A./M.R.P.), and Dylan Stevenson

A Cornell team took home the gold in the student design competition at the American Planning Association’s (APA) 2019 National Conference in San Francisco. Students Kevin Kim (M.L.A./M.R.P.), Lera Covington (M.P.S./M.R.P.), Jeanette Petti (M.L.A./M.R.P.), and Dylan Stevenson (Ph.D. C.R.P.) wowed the jury with Fruit Pad, an affordable housing marketing and educational campaign that takes a “fresh look” at Fruitvale, a neighborhood in Oakland, CA. The East Bay city has sky-high housing prices amidst rapid gentrification thanks to a Bay Area–wide housing crunch fueled by an influx of residents and tech money.

Take a look at the introduction to Fruit Pad below, and check out the rest of the project here.

Oakland has an affordable housing crisis. It’s the third most expensive metro area in the country for renters, and it’s gotten increasingly difficult for Oakland residents to obtain affordable housing.

Though this problem persists, the City of Oakland has been diligent in its efforts to address the housing crisis. It’s implemented a variety of affordable housing programs and policies throughout the years and, with the release of the Mayor’s Housing Action Plan: A Roadmap to Equity and the City’s Housing Element
Plan, it’s working on implementing even more.

With strong housing policies already in place and more in the works, we didn’t want to rehash these strategies or propose what the City has already proposed, so we decided to take a different approach. We think that Oakland has all the necessary policies in place to successfully address its affordable housing crisis, so we’re going to use what the City already has – but package them a little bit differently.

That’s why we’re recommending Fruit Pad – a fresh and revamped educational and marketing program for Oakland’s affordable housing policies, specifically tailored to the Fruitvale neighborhood. Fruit Pad uses a variety of strategies – from turning the neighborhood into a living lab with affordable housing “experiments” to empowering local leaders to open their homes to residents looking for advice – all in an effort to make the City’s existing affordable housing policies and resources more transparent and more approachable.

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