Classifying Neighborhoods Impacted by Upzoning in California

Who exactly are the communities that would be affected by the high-quality transit provisions of SB 50? How similar are they, and what do their characteristics tell us about how SB 50 would impact them? To answer these questions, we analyzed the neighborhoods surrounding high-quality transit stops and clustered them into five distinct neighborhood types, presented in the map below. The clusters can be characterized as: (1) high density/high income, (2) high density/low income, (3) low density/high income, (4) low density/low income, and (5) low density/diverse.

The two high density clusters (Blue and Green) contain a significant share of large multi-family buildings, suggesting that SB 50 will have little impact in these neighborhoods since developers can already construct the kind of buildings allowed by SB 50. The three remaining clusters (Red, Yellow, and Purple) are more likely to be impacted by upzoning because they are less dense and have older buildings, meaning that it would be possible to intensify land use through upzoning around these stations. Two of the three clusters (low density/low income and low density/diverse) have a greater share of lower-income renters and people of color, suggesting that consideration should be given to the potentially negative impacts that upzoning may create in these areas.

Click below for a detailed methodology for how we developed these clusters and map.