This plan to serve the seventh busiest rail station in the country incorporates sustainability and a focus on active lifestyles. The master plan was led by Geeti Silwal, Urban Designer at Perkins&Will, in partnership with The City of Sacramento, ARUP, Grimshaw Architects, EPS and AIM Consulting — the Sacramento Valley Station area plan was recently nominated for the 2021 APA California Awards for Excellence in Transportation Planning.

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rendering of people dining outside a transit station

The project has a modern design that works to serve the needs of both the environment and the public with 31 acres of natural space, pedestrian paths and a hub for rail, light rail, buses and taxis. This compact, multipurpose plan means less cars and parking in the area. Its central location already serves a huge portion of the community that lives within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. The renewed station includes a variety of services, such as restaurants and grocery stores, all in one location. That makes it easy to stop by the store or grab dinner after getting off the bus or train, further reducing vehicle carbon footprints. Along with convenience, the plan calls for a net-zero emissions design.

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people on boardwalk looking at pond near an overpass
people walking around shaded outdoor area near a glass building

A regenerative utility center will power all buildings on the property with renewable energy. The circular design also includes a plan for stormwater management as well as an onsite wastewater recycling and distribution station.

people walking and dining in landscaped courtyard between tall buildings
people resting by a pond near a brick building

From a livability standpoint, Silwal’s design connects paths for biking and walking throughout the campus. In addition, there is a community garden where residents can grow food as well as landscaping that serves to passively cool spaces through shading. These plants will also naturally clean the air. Animals are another important consideration in the design, with natural habitats for native species, such as the Purple Martin and Swanson’s Hawk, interwoven throughout the property.

people stopping at pop-up restaurants outside of a transit hub
diagram of transit hub powered by renewable energy

This focus on sustainability has earned the Sacramento Valley Station the Living Community Challenge certification (LCC), which is a rigorous zero-energy and zero-carbon sustainability standard. This credit is a first for any municipality-led development and highlights what can happen with infrastructure design that puts the planet and the people first.

+ Perkins and Will

Images via Steelblue for the City of Sacramento and Perkins and Will