Before Disaster: Resilient by Design Launches with Open Call for Community Ideas to Address the Local Impacts of Climate Change
Oakland, Calif. – Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge, an innovative new approach to prepare the Bay Area for the effects of climate change, launched today with an open call for community leaders, local elected officials, national experts and residents to come together and address this critical issue before disaster strikes. The project, which will develop ten creative, implementable and long-lasting infrastructure solutions, will serve as a blueprint to flip the switch on traditional disaster rebuilding by addressing climate change before a storm or earthquake strikes and creates billions of dollars of damage and displaces our most vulnerable communities.
The Rockefeller Foundation has funded this effort through a $4.6 million grant, providing the necessary support to create and scale a model of the successful New York Rebuild by Design program which was pioneered by the Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In this unique collaborative approach, Design Teams will research and work in communities with local experts for eight months to offer ten creative solutions than can be adapted throughout the Bay Area and around the world. These ten solutions will be designed to protect shoreline communities throughout the Bay Area from increasingly severe storms and flooding that disproportionally impacts economically and socially vulnerable communities, and will tackle disparities in housing, health, transportation and the economy.
The Bay Area Challenge kicked off with a press event overlooking the Bay at Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park and has already received broad support as a collaboration between local communities, Bay Area cities, regional agencies, environmental and business groups and The Rockefeller Foundation. Local elected officials in attendance included Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San Mateo County Supervisor David Pine, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, along with Executive Board Chair Allison Brooks, who is the Executive Director of Bay Area Regional Collaborative, Sam Carter, who is the Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation, and student leaders from Rooted in Resilience.
Select quotes from key leaders joining the effort:
- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House Democratic Leader: “The climate crisis is real, and its impacts on our communities and our children will be dire unless we take bold, decisive action. By harnessing the innovative energy of the Bay Area, Resilient by Design is leading the way toward smart solutions to protect our climate.”
- Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland: “There is one thing researchers agree on: flooding will hit hardest in the neighborhoods where people have the least resources. Resilient by Design will help us reimagine our future and create resilient communities, making long-term change that will protect our most vulnerable residents from the physical threat of sea level rise, while addressing the collective needs of people around the Bay on key issues including housing, transportation, and climate change.”
- Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco: “San Francisco needs to fully address the growing needs of our region to prepare for continued sea-level rise and climate change. We are excited that Resilient by Design will connect the talent in our communities with the smartest policy makers, designers and architects regionally and globally to create realistic solutions to build the Bay Area for the next generation.”
- Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation: “The Bay Area’s groundbreaking innovation and commitment to tackling difficult issues is why we are thrilled to support Bay Area | Resilient by Design. While it would be easy for the Bay Area to become overwhelmed by the potential impacts of climate change or future earthquakes, instead they have committed to bringing local communities, elected officials, and national experts together to have difficult conversations, address pressing challenges and create lasting solutions. We look forward to marrying the Bay Area’s creativity with our expertise in resilience to achieve outsized impact.”
Details About the Challenge
During the Launch Phase this summer, the challenge will kick off with an open call for community members to suggest sites where action and investment could create community resilience. The Request for Qualifications for Resilient by Design is now available at www.resilientbayarea.org and Design Team applications are due by July 7, 2017. Once ten Design Teams are selected in August 2017, the challenge will consist of two phases:
During the Collaborative Research Phase, teams will participate in a three-month exploratory research and community engagement period to develop initial design concepts based on research and community input. During the Collaborative Design Phase, Design Teams will engage in a five-month intensive design process working in partnership with residents, businesses, community-based organizations and political leaders to develop detailed, replicable and implementable infrastructure projects.
At the end of the challenge, an internationally renowned jury will judge ten final designs based on the potential for future successful implementation, adaptation to the future effects of climate change and benefits that address current issues such as public access to recreation areas, access to housing and protection of vulnerable infrastructure and transportation systems.
About Resilient by Design
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge is a collaborative research and design initiative that connects design leaders to community members, local leaders and national experts. In a yearlong challenge, ten teams of architects, engineers, designers and other experts will work alongside community members and local government to identify critical areas along the San Francisco Bayfront and propose exciting new solutions that will strengthen our region’s resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes.
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge will forge close ties with The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network, which seeks to help 100 cities build resilience to thrive in the 21st century. The challenge will leverage the network’s existing resources and institutional knowledge to accomplish shared goals across the Bay Area.
Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge is an operating project of the Trust for Conservation Innovation. Generous funders include The Rockefeller Foundation, Bay Area Regional Collaborative, The Seed Fund, Santa Clara Valley Water District, City and County of San Francisco and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The Executive Board is made up of leaders around the region representing: Bay Area Regional Collaborative, San Francisco Estuary Institute, Government Alliance on Race and Equity, Rebuild by Design, SPUR, State Coastal Conservancy, Bay Area Council, The San Francisco Foundation and the cities of Richmond, Oakland, San José and San Francisco.