Urban Planning: Stuart Cohen
As we look to the future, Bay Area urban planners are scrambling for ideas on how to handle the projected increase in population. Over the last 40 years, California's sprawling growth and dependence on cars has taken its toll. According to a recent Census Bureau report, the region is home to the most "mega-commuters" in the country. These are people who spend at least 90 minutes and drive over 50 miles to get to work. Families, particularly those who can least afford it, are spending more and more of their time and income just getting where they need to go. Stuart Cohen, recipient of a 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, believes that smarter regional planning can reverse these trends. As a founder and executive director of the nonprofit TransForm, he is leading an effort to revitalize local communities into diverse, vibrant places where more people walk, bike and take world-class public transit.