Guest blogging @ Transform: What I learned at a city meeting in San Mateo


My blog post is up on the Transform blog!  🙂
What a late-night meeting taught me about how parking concerns can block good development

Most livable city? how about the most workable workplace?


I saw a few articles on PBS’s Frontline about Curitiba, Brazil being the worlds most livable city.  It’s inland.  There aren’t any super exciting attractions.  Unless you are an urban planning fan.  Locally, in Oakland, AC Transit is trying to set up BRT, bus rapid transit on a main thoroughfare.  It’s brewing up a lot of controversy, especially in Berkeley.  As an aside, this proposed service would impact 4 east bay cities, (Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Berkeley) so Berkeley residents shouldn’t take a high precedence over the other impacted communities; the Bay Area doesn’t have a regional transit vision and this makes things pretty annoying for planners, and residents.  

Ok, back on topic.  Anyway if you you google Curitiba, you’ll see a ton of praise on the transit.  In fact they have been using BRT since the 70s.  And it still works.  Well mostly.  The might have outgrown it these days, the buses can’t get any speedier than 1 every 5 minutes.  This city made some great planning decisions, even with missteps along the way, and most people take transit and walk.  A much healthier city.  Of course in recent years a few suburbs have popped up with more drivers, but things look to be coming full circle, and more transit oriented development is planned.  Anyway its facinating stuff if you are into that sort of thing. 

So a livable city offers a lot of green space, multiple transit options, multiple types of living spaces, walkability, diversity, local attractions, and convineniently located services.  So what are the characteristics of a “work-able” workplace, and work space.  Who are the unsung heroes on building the type of place people are dying to get into, even for less pay or a longer commute.  What makes this space, and place work-able.

Here’s the start to my list, share yours:

  • friendly people
  • opportunity for growth
  • a corporate understanding (and appreciation) of work/life balance
  • managers/mentors that care about your professional development
  • an unstressful commute
  • a great boss, who’s great at their job and letting you know how you can grow
  • comfortable chairs
  • a well lit workspace, with plenty of storage
  • Unlimited water (we need to stay hydrated to be productive)
  • Spaces for concentrating, being creative and taking a mental or physical break
  • A diverse team with similar motivation levels and aspirations