OPR Visits ITS Berkeley

May 3, 2022

Members of the OPR and ITS Berkeley sitting in the ITS Library.ITS Berkeley welcomed a delegation from Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to talk Transportation Policyon Friday, April 29, 2022 in the ITS Library.

New OPR Director Sam Assefa, OPR Deputy Director of Climate Resilience Nuin-Tara Key, OPR Deputy Director of Planning and Community Development Erik de Kok, Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Transportation Egon Terplan , CA Fifth Climate Assessment Program Manager Neil Matouka, and Special Assistant to the Director Mitchell Iwahiro sat down with Daniel A. Rodriguez, ITS Interim Director and Department of City & Regional Planning (DCRP) Co-Chair and Professor, Associate Provost for Moffett Field Program Development Alexandre Bayen, DCRP Co-Chair and Associate Professor Dan Chatman and ITS Assistant Director and TechTransfer Director Laura Melendy.  

Rodriguez provided an overview of ITS Berkeley function, research, and innovation, and helped the OPR delegation gain a better understanding of how ITS Berkeley works with UC ITS through shared research initiatives, collaborative discussions and programs, and a multi-campus equity course. The two groups also talked about refining research questions and making legislative and policy changes, and making sure the state is looking ahead in competitive areas of newer technology, like urban air mobility.

“There is a lot we can accomplish together in partnership,” says Rodriguez. “We look forward to working with the office as the state continues to lead transportation innovations.”

He added that using student capstone projects to address focused research questions could greatly benefit students and the state.

Bayen talked about the future of aerospace studies and research at UC Berkeley.

“We’re Berkeley, we have new ideas,” says Bayen. “We don’t think about this traditionally, we’re including climate change and social justice into our breadth of research.”

Chatman led a discussion on the connections between transportation and housing in California, drawing from a forthcoming study by his research team. While housing near transit is a key component to moving people around, Chatman said that modes other than transit--such as carpooling, walking, and cycling--need additional focus. In addition, he said that employment clustering needs greater emphasis, as well as road and parking pricing to encourage higher density while making funds available to address equity issues.

“This is an area of great interest to state agencies,” says Chatman. “We have received a number of comments and suggestions about the work.”

The delegation also talked about the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) Briefing and UC’s Preparation for US DOE $8B FOA for U.S. Clean Hydrogen Hub Competition with Transportation Sustainability Research Center and Research Co-Director and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) Affiliate Tim Lipman, UCOP Special Advisor for Research & Innovation Scott Brandt and LBNL Director State Relations & External Affairs Jim Hawley.

Throughout the day, the delegation also spoke with multiple units across UC Berkeley about

Wildfire Mitigation, Natural Resources Policy, & Water Policy; the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub; Energy & Environmental, and Environmental Justice Policy; and Housing Policy.