1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village
David Shabazian, Principal Program Expert, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Despite its population and status as the state’s capital, the Sacramento metropolitan area is mostly a rural region. Approximately 85% of its 4.2 million acres are rural, home to less than 15% of the region’s population, but all of its resource-based economic activity. Though roughly half of the region’s road miles are rural and despite increased use and deterioration of these roads, transportation funding and related planning follows population and therefore mostly concentrates on urban areas. To address this imbalance in “regional planning,” the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) initiated its Rural-Urban Connections Strategy program (RUCS). Particularly given the growing interest and investment in the agriculture and food sector, RUCS responds to the region’s need to understand rural land use and economic development opportunities and challenges, including how to strategically invest limited rural transportation resources. This seminar will highlight work SACOG has assembled over the last six years to help local jurisdictions and regional stakeholders better address rural issues, bolster rural economies and bring rural transportation investment more prominently into the region’s transportation plan.
David Shabazian has been in the planning field since 1990 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from UC Davis. He spent three years as a planner for the City of Davis before returning to UC Davis in 1996 to earn a master’s degree in Transportation Technology and Policy. His thesis focused on linking land use and transportation planning and he was central in designing and building UPlan, an urban growth model used in many parts of California for city and regional planning. Shabazian has been at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for 15 years. He was the Deputy Project Manager for the Blueprint: Transportation/Land Use Study and is the Program Manager for the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy, a regional effort to enhance rural economic viability and environmental sustainability. He has also been SACOG’s lead on floodplain management and water resource issues and is a former member of the Delta Vision Stakeholders Coordination Group. Shabazian is also a past member of the California Health Food Financing Initiative Advisory Group and the External Advisory Committee for selection of the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science at U.C. Davis. Shabazian is currently an advisor to the Yolo Agriculture and Food Alliance, a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, a board member of the Center for Land-Based Learning, and a board member of the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. Valley Vision recently selected Shabazian to receive the 2015 Regional Environmental Steward award.