Resilient By Design - Bay Area Challenge

Resilient by Design is a collaborative design challenge for the San Francisco, California Bay area to develop 10 innovative community-based solutions that will strengthen the region’s resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes. The Resilient by Design - Bay Area Challenge was modeled on New York's Rebuild by Design, a successful program pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In this challenge, ten teams of architects, engineers, designers, and affiliated experts are selected to take part in an advanced, design-driven investigation of the social and ecological vulnerabilities around the Bay. With support from community members and issue area experts, Design Teams will identify critical vulnerable areas along the bayfront, propose and implement climate resilience solutions.

Early design ideas were developed during a three month Collaborative Research Phase. The project has moved into the Collaborative Design Phase in which local residents, public officials, engineers, architects, and other experts will come together to develop resilient solutions that address the impacts of climate change and regional inequality.

Design Teams will receive $100,000 USD over two installments in Collaborative Research Phase ($50,000 at the start, and $50,000 at the completion of this phase). Additionally, teams completing the deliverables for the Collaborative Design Phase will receive $150,000, for a total payment of $250,000 USD.

10 local sites in the Bay area that are threatened by climate change have been selected for the Collaborative Design Phase of the challenge including:

  • South Bay towns
  • San Pablo Bay Commons
  • South San Francisco
  • Resilience from the Ground Up (Regional)
  • North Richmond
  • Alameda Creek
  • Islais Creek
  • San Leandro Bay
  • San Rafael
  • Vallejo

For example, the Islais Creek project will be implemented in 2018 by the design team BIG + ONE + SHERWOOD, who will design solutions for the area surrounding Islais Creek, with climate change resilience strategies that aim to restore the creek to its natural functioning.  Here’s how the Islais Creek is described in the report: “one of the most important locations in San Francisco for the long-term health and resilience of the City, (that) provides an opportunity to strengthen ecological systems, current infrastructure, and the connectivity of the surrounding area… The creek itself acts as the interface and link between the sea and the tributary system, the creek represents an incredible opportunity to reimagine the intersection between industry and disaster preparedness. A small-scale intervention on Islais Creek could provide an influential framework for the Bay Area, due to its important connection within a wider ecosystem, linking mobility, ecology, and people.”


Publication Date: May 31, 2017


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Resource Types:

  • Funding program
  • Project

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