UC Berkeley wins battle to build housing at People’s Park

The famous park will now be used for housing after a lengthy legal battle.

The California Supreme Court ruled that UC Berkeley can convert People’s Park into student housing, ending a lengthy legal battle over the landmark’s use.

The ruling was based on a new law enacted in 2023, which invalidated claims from local organizations that more students living in downtown Berkeley would increase noise pollution. The lawsuit will not impede the housing project due to the new law.


Driving the news: UC Berkeley plans to build a $312 million housing complex for about 1,100 students at the 3-acre People’s Park, with housing being a critical need for students in the area.

  • Opposition groups raised concerns that the university should have considered increased noise and that the park was a rare green space in the densely populated neighborhood.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law amending the California Environmental Quality Act to clarify that housing projects do not need to study the noise generated by prospective future residents.
  • Despite the disappointment from advocacy groups, the university is now focusing on resuming construction at the site, with plans to revitalize over 60% of the site as open park space.
Related Posts