Beltline Feasiblity Study 

Alameda, CA | 2012

Site conditions

The Alameda Belt Line (ABL) in central Alameda is a 22-acre site that operated for over a century as a freight railyard, most recently by Union Pacific Railroad. The ABL was abandoned in 1998, when its major shipper, a Del Monte warehouse, closed. In 2008, following a lawsuit, the City of Alameda obtained the land to convert into a public park. Contaminated by both the fill used to build the site out of wetlands, and by its subsequent use, the conversion to a public park is a long term project. The Alameda Food Bank sponsored this study for an interim use -- an urban farm or community garden providing produce to the Food Bank (which operates at the west end of the site).

Site History Diagram: Mid-Century Food Miles

Site History Diagram: Constructed Ground (1859-1973)

Site History Diagram: Traces. Except for a short run, all the rails have been removed from the site, rendering the rail history mute. This diagram uses plans by model railroad enthusiasts to reconstruct what the pattern may have been, and to investigate the relationship between shipping, rail and industry on site.

Diagram of sites suitable for interim agricultural use

Community clean-up and garden build day

Project Team: Ellen Burke, Doris Zhao