Infill Development

The term “infill development” refers to building within unused and underutilized lands within existing development patterns, typically but not exclusively in urban areas. Infill development is critical to accommodating growth and redesigning our cities to be environmentally and socially sustainable.

OPR works with agencies and jurisdictions at both the state and local levels to support infill development and reduce sprawl. OPR is committed to promoting compact development in order to:

  • Reduce the distance between places people need to travel, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on oil, as well as improved regional air quality
  • Reduce conversion of agricultural land, sensitive habitat, and open space for new development
  • Reduce costs to build and maintain expensive infrastructure
  • Facilitate healthy and environmentally friendly active transportation
  • Reduce storm-water runoff resulting in flooding and pollution of waterways
  • Bring vibrancy, community and social connection to neighborhoods

OPR’s 1978 An Urban Strategy for California provides a framework for sustainable infill development. We provide technical assistance on CEQA and identify best practices to share across the state. 

State Resources

California Air Resources Board Sustainable Communities/SB 375 Resources
Strategic Growth Council
California Department of Housing & Community Development: Housing Resource Center
An Urban Strategy for California (1978)

Federal Resources

US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities