Connecting state and local government leaders

Government and Design Team Up to Bolster Resilience at 10 Bay Area Sites

The Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge.


Connecting state and local government leaders

Projects will address everything from flooding to transportation.

An international resilience challenge selected 10 Bay Area sites Thursday for the collaborative design phase of the competition, creating solutions to climate change and regional inequalities ahead of disasters.

From rising sea levels to rising rents, local residents and officials, as well as engineers and architects from international firms, will work together over the next five months to address such threats as part of the Resilient by Design : Bay Area Challenge.

Solutions will be replicable regionally and worldwide, with the 10 design teams themselves hailing from across nine countries and 13 states.

“This is not a government-driven process, but rather a true multi-stakeholder collaboration,” said Richmond, California Mayor Tom Butt in the announcement. “This initiative will bring the design expertise of the Challenge teams together with the local expertise of community and governmental stakeholders in order to collaboratively develop design ideas and implementation plans that will provide a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

North Richmond will be the focus of a project exploring new ecological systems and economic strategies to reduce flooding and end systemic racial inequity overseen by The Home Team, of which Seattle-based professional services firm Mithun is a member.

Meanwhile the team Common Ground will operate in San Pablo Bay examining how surrounding communities could better share resources.

“We’d like to unite these communities with the rest of the Bay Area and not be deterred by hours of auto gridlock,” said Tom Leader, principal at TLS Landscape Architecture, in a statement. We think the best response to Bay resilience is to really engage with the Bay as a place to live, put the bay to work as a transport hub, and make the Bay our functional front yard and address.”

Oakland, including the San Leandro Bay and Oakland Coliseum; South San Francisco, including San Mateo County; the South Bay, including East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Mountain View; the Alameda Creek Watershed; San Rafael’s Canal District; Vallejo’s Mare Island; and San Francisco’s Islais Creek are other project sites.

A final team will tackle regional resilience across all nine Bay Area counties.

The challenge concludes in May 2018 with the unveiling of solutions ahead of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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