Planning for Food Justice: Our Research on California’s Senate Bill 1000

Senate Bill 1000: The Planning for Healthy Communities Act was signed in 2016 by California Govenor Jerry Brown and went into effect January 1, 2018. The law requires cities and counties with “disadvantaged communities” (designated by the California Environmental Protection Agency through its CalEnviroScreen tool) to incorporate environmental justice policies into their General Plan, a document that serves as a municipality’s blueprint for future development. While land use planning has historically perpetuated discrimination by disproportionately exposing communities of color to environmental hazards while limiting their access to green space and healthy food, SB 1000 aims to bring equity into city land use planning.

In May 2022, with support from BFI, a team comprised of Charisma Acey, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning in the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Susana Matias, Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at UC Berkeley, and Graduate Student Researcher Katherine Fallon launched a research project to track SB 1000 implementation across the state.

Their research aims to connect environmental justice to food justice through SB 1000, by tracking SB 1000 compliance and assessing how comprehensively updated General Plans advance food access and equity.

Research Report: Planning for Food Justice

In this BFI Research Report, Katherine Fallon, Charisma Acey, and Susana Matias map out their preliminary research on SB 1000, including an analysis of their SB 1000 database, takeaways from interviews in the cities of Richmond and Gilroy, and recommendations to city and county planners and state legislators.

Our SB 1000 Database

Katherine Fallon shares the methodology and initial results of the SB 1000 database, which tracks the implementation of SB 1000 across the state, with a particular focus on food access policies.

SB 1000 Roadshow: Gilroy

BFI took the SB 1000 research to Gilroy, California for a community meeting with over a hundred Gilroy residents to discuss the city’s implementation of the bill and how to advance food justice in their city.