Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor


Second Advisor



This project summarizes an assessment of affordable housing development in Sonoma County - centered in an analysis of sustainability. The language of sustainability requires a new vocabulary for conversation on a broad topic. The sustainable development goals can be directed for the benefit of organizations that contribute to solutions that lack insight towards greater longevity for the at-risk members of the community (i.e., greenwashing, net-zero emissions, etc.). More recent sustainable development literature from the United Nations reveals new priorities: social, economic, and environmental sustainability. (This applies to developing nations of which the researcher believes Sonoma County, California and the United States of America are included).

In an interdisciplinary review, the researcher concludes that the community land trust model is an essential component of sustainable development as a benefit to the social ecology and the expanding density of the concrete urban environment. The researcher gains affordable housing development expertise through semi-structured interviews with urban and regional planning professionals, public officials, and nonprofit leaders. This expertise is used to guide the study and practice of sustainable development, which is inclusive of at-risk groups in society. Sustainable development is expanded beyond the consideration of construction materials to share a broader vision of longevity through social, economic, and environmental sustainability for the disadvantaged communities in our changing urban settings.

This research has been accomplished in the context of an era when society is drastically impacted by the pandemic, and Sonoma County residents have experienced repeated wildfires, gaining awareness of the urgency of the climate crisis. Thus, conclusions in this report are outlined with recommendations for urban and public affairs officials to benefit the organizations generating affordable housing opportunities using the community land trust non-profit model and prioritizing the best outcomes of environmentalism.