Roundtable Discussion: The California Environmental Quality Act

How deeply does the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA -- one of the oldest statewide environmental laws –- impact urban planning in California? Does it effectively balance the interests of the state's citizens, the building industry, and environmentalists? How do planners use the law, and what kind of growth does it promote in the state? In this exclusive Planetizen Roundtable Discussion, CEQA experts discuss the powerful law's wide-ranging impact on planning issues, and evaluate opportunities for reform.


  • Sean Hecht, Executive Director of the UCLA School of Law Environmental Law Center
  • Dr. Dan Silver, Executive Director of the Endangered Habitats League
  • Andy Henderson, Vice President and General Counsel of the Building Industry Association of Southern California
  • Chris Joseph, President and Principal of environmental consulting firm Christopher A. Joseph & Associates
  • David Gest, Planetizen Managing Editor, discussion moderator

Track Listings [1.3 hours total running time]

  • Track 1 - Introduction to Planetizen Roundtable
  • Track 2 - Introduction to CEQA and CEQA terminology - 1
  • Track 3 - Introduction to CEQA and CEQA terminology - 2
  • Track 4 - Introductions to Roundtable participants
  • Track 5 - Does CEQA really work?
  • Track 6 - How political is CEQA? (Delays, lawsuits)
  • Track 7 - Problems with project-level review
  • Track 8 - Affordable housing and infill development
  • Track 9 - Is CEQA a smart growth law?
  • Track 10 - Time for a statewide planning law? - 1
  • Track 11 - Time for a statewide planning law? - 2
  • Track 12 - What would life be like without CEQA?

File Contents, Type, and Size Downloadable WinZip file  [20 MB] containing:
Audio - 12 MP3 audio tracks
Text - Transcript of discussion highlights and other notes [PDF] 


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