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SHIFTING SHORELINES Adaptation to sea level rise along transportation corridors San Leandro Bay, Oakland

SONALI PRAHARAJ


Preface

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Acknowledgment 11 Chapter 1 | INTRODUCTION 1.1 Climate change and Sea level rise

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1.2. Why Adapt

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1.3 San Francisco Bay Area and Sea level rise

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1.4 Risks to the shorelines

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Chapter 2 | SITE SELECTION 2.1 Study area

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2.2 Opportunities

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2.3 Risks

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2.4 Thesis statement

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Chapter 3 | SITE ANALYSIS 3.1 Historical evolution

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3.2 Natural setting

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3.3 Site Characteristics

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3.4 Current Planning Context

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 4 | GUIDELINES FROM EXPERIENCES 4.1 Overview of Precedents

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4.2 South Bay Salt Restoration Project, SF Bay Area

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4.3 Bo01 Swedish Housing Expo, Malmo

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4,4 Jack London District, Oakland

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4.5 Fruitvale transit village, East Oakland

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Chapter 5 | DESIGN STRATEGIES 5.1 Vision

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5.2 Key Design Approaches

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5.3 Project Phasing

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5.4 Adaptation Strategies

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5.5 Design Details

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List of figures Bibliography

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Ecology.

Infrastructure

Communities


PREFACE This project started out with the urgency of climate change and ways in which some of the most complex fabric of our cities are responding to it. With the scientific communities warning us the grave reality of the rising water and it’s related effects, we have already been experiencing it for each year in the form of flooding and frequent tidal surges. How do we plan for the uncertain future? Human settlements in the past have, in many cases , successfully managed to adapt to the changing climate. Even with the extreme case of carbon cuts and mitigation strategies, the sea levels are increasing at an unprecedented rate. While we prepare for our shorelines with defensive mechanisms, we also have examples when these fail. It’s, therefore, becomes necessary to make room for adaptation strategies for our urban and natural environments. One of the first things I noticed in San Francisco Bay Area was how strongly the transportation corridors such as the BART lines, freeways, UPRR lines, Power lines, etc. define the edge of the shorelines in East Bay. Considering the effects of rising water and risks of flooding and tidal surges, one needs to address the ecology, infrastructure and communities around the shorelines together for an efficient and sustainable adaptation strategies for shoreline and inland protection.

The project looks at San Leandro Bay’s eastern edge, a district which is in transition. A former marshland to a light industrial zone with large extend of underutilized and parking lots with transportation infrastructures creating significant barriers to the waterfront, the area faces today a high risk of sea level rise and flooding. The project illustrates incremental adaptation strategies for the scenario of sea level rise, flooding, flood management and ecological restoration. The design proposal for the future of San Leandro Bay district illustrates a visionary and comprehensive framework for a sustainable and adaptable waterfront. The threat of rising sea level becomes the framework for a flexible and holistic design between built form, landscape, and transportation infrastructure. By arraying the activities of recreation, ecology, and compact development along the corridors and combining these design strategies with a soft infrastructure system, the San Leandro Bay waterfront has the potential to become a precedent for other transportation corridors vulnerable to sea level rise. Adaptation doesn’t imply physical acceptance of excess water or no water. It’s a way of life- shaping our urban environment to make coastal communities prepare to live in the extreme scenarios of sea level rise.

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Transportation corridors along East Oakland, with the San Leandro Bay seen in the foreground


ACKNOWLEDGMENT I bestow my eternal gratitude upon the faculty, family, and friends whose enduring support this past year has made the task of completing this thesis an enjoyable and rewarding one. To begin with, I am incredibly grateful to my parents and my sister for believing in me. They have been my greatest strengths, and their continuous support has always pushed me to pursue my dreams with passion, purpose, and integrity. I would especially like to thank Prof. Peter Bosselmann for his inspiration, insights, support and critical thinking which I will forever carry with me. Prof. John Ellis for his valuable comments and wisdom focusing on always bridging the academic and professional world; Stefan Pellegrini for his patience and constant encouragement; Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald for her guidance over challenges of local context and debating questions of nature and built environment; Prof. Harrison Fraker for his valuable insights through summer. I would always be very grateful to have known Prof. Kirti Unwala, Suprio Bhattacharjee and Aparna Joshi who have been mentors to me and have through their work inspired me to put communities and ecology before physical design.

I would like to thank Yasir, for being a mentor and the constant support till the end. Dhara, for your encouragement and support since the last nine years. Momin, Rohit, Abhishek, for helping me articulate my thesis better. Jinsy, Anuja, Varun, Sayali, for being away from home so much easier. I would like to thank all the people who helped me know the Bay Area and Oakland better- Will Travis, BCDC former director, Robert Ogilvie, Karl Kullmann, Evelyne Louis, Beki Mcelvain. I would like to thank my remarkable MUD companions for being there always. The past year has seen friendships that will last a lifetimeMariana, Mario, Marine, Rama, Sara, Andy, Xinni, and Yueyue. You guys made everything about the fourth-floor studio (even stress), enjoyable. I shall forever cherish the three hours daily commute in Mumbai to my college and the wanderings around redwoods and sunsets of Berkeley. The endless experiences, conversations and connections has contributed me in becoming (hopefully) a better observer and a responsible designer.

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

King Tide on San Francisco Embarcadero on Tuesday, January 21, 2015 offers a glimpse into the not too distant future of Climate Change. Photo credit, Mike Flippoff, SF Chronicle


Fig. 1.1. Flooded homes and businesses in Denham Springs., Louisiana in August 2016; Source: New York times

The sun is out, and it’s a perfect day, and you expect nothing to be going wrong. What follows to this is , water starts coming up from the stormwater pipes, which results in streets getting flooded in no time. As the sea level rises, the tidal flooding is a risk which is not only going to affect the shorelines but also is going to affect the inner areas of cities as much. “

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Fig. 1.2. Driving through Miami, FL at high tide (with blue skies and no hurricane) Source: Sparkshead, Paul G. Neilan


1.1 CLIMATE CHANGE AND SEA LEVEL RISE The effects of climate change like storms, flooding, and sea level rise are becoming a major concern for all urban centers of the world. Coastal cities in most of the countries are grappling with the question of how to cope with the challenges posed by global warming and in particular sea level rise. With a growing population and continued the migration of people from rural areas to cities, it is estimated that over half of the world’s population will live in coastal cities by the year 2050 (UN report, 2014). Because many coastal cities are low lying and prone to land subsidence, they are vulnerable to tidal flooding and will only become more vulnerable in the face of rising seas and more frequent storms. A few decades back, climate change was conceived as a utopian concept where most people connected global warming to melting glaciers in the poles and not necessarily, saw it affecting their everyday life. Today, one can see the climate change affecting their streets, neighborhoods and infrastructures and much more. To cite an example here, people in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts often talk about ‘Sunny day Flooding.’ The sun is out, and it’s a perfect day, and you expect nothing is going wrong. What follows to this is then, water starts coming up from the stormwater pipes, which results in streets getting flooded in no time. As the sea level rises, the tidal flooding is a risk which is not only going to affect the shorelines but also is going to affect the inner areas of cities as much. (Fig 1.2) Cities are at the edge of climate change in several ways. First, in the sense that enough people’s lives

and property are at stake to force them to take actions to adapt. Rotterdam is investing to try to make itself “climate proof” because of its Europe’s biggest cargo port city, it houses an increasingly large portion of the Dutch population, and the Dutch believe in their ability to live with the changing dynamics of water. Not only do they believe in it at home, but they also see it as a major export—knowledge and ability they can share with cities all over the world, for a profit. Hamburg has used a different strategy – also driven by the location of its cargo port inside the city limits. It will allow flooding but designed a major new part of the city to be resilient to high water, with water-proof parking garages, a network of emergency pedestrian walkways 20 feet above the street, and no residential units at ground level. Even the parks in this new Harbor City district are designed to withstand battering by waves and storm surge, either by floating as the waters rise, or by incorporating lots of hard surfaces that only need to be washed off when the waters recede. These examples fall into the “protect” category of adaptive actions.1 But from an ethical point of view, the most important way to protect cities is to protect the most vulnerable people who live in them: lowincome children and their caregivers (often single mothers), people with illnesses, and seniors. All over the world, people with even modest wealth will be able to protect themselves. They’ll buy better air conditioning, pay more for electricity as fuel prices rise, stay in a hotel when floods come, get health care when they need it, maybe even relocate by buying a home in a less vulnerable 1 Cities are at the edge of climate change - Kristina Hill, Mongabay Blog, http://blog.mongabay.com/2010/09/20/58/ (accessed September 10, 2016).

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The North Sea

Lake Grevelingen Krammer strait

Eastern Scheldt Estaury

Fig. 1.3. Aerial view of the dike system in the Netherlands Source: NASA, at nasa.gov.

Fig. 1.4 Suisun Marsh, Source: watershed.ucdavis.edu

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Fig. 1.5 Engineered Dike, Source: Google images


location. Children born into low-income families where their mothers have to both work and care for them without paid help are in a very different situation. Many people in New Orleans who lived paycheck to paycheck did not evacuate when Katrina came, not because they were stubborn or unaware but because it was the end of the month and they couldn’t afford to stay in a motel. Or didn’t own a car to evacuate with in the first place. If we want to adapt, we need to help them adapt. Adapting cities without protecting children is not only unethical; but it’s also unwise. 2 1.2 WHY ADAPT There have been two approaches to combact climate change: Mitigation- Reducing emissions of and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. AdaptationAdapting to the climate change already in the pipeline. The goal of mitigation is to avoid dangerous human interference with the climate system, and “stabilize greenhouse gas levels in a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner”.3 As our climate changes, we will have to learn to adapt. The faster the climate changes, the harder it could be. There is a continuum of strategies we can use to manage changing sea levels, ranging from 2 Cities are at the edge of climate change - Kristina Hill, Mongabay Blog, http://blog.mongabay.com/2010/09/20/58/ (accessed September 10, 2016). 3 Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Mitigation and .., http://climate.nasa.gov/solutions/adaptation-mitigation/ (accessed September 05, 2016).

armoring the shoreline — keeping the sea out — to abandoning low-lying development altogether. Some of these strategies are familiar and reliable. For example, the Netherlands has used dikes and levees to keep the ocean at bay for hundreds of years, and most of that country’s population lives below sea level. (Fig 1.3) Other strategies, such as large-scale wetland restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay and the southern San Francisco Bay, are ongoing experiments of wetlands’ ability to absorb waves, attenuate flooding and protect developed areas while improving the environment. (Fig. 1.4) Not all strategies are financially, politically, culturally or environmentally appropriate for all areas. The essence of planning for sea level rise is matching the right strategies to the right locations and conditions.4 1.3 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA AND SEA LEVEL RISE San Francisco Bay is a national treasure that helps sustain the economy of the western United States, provides incredible opportunities for recreation, nourishes fish and wildlife, provides unparalleled scenic splendor, and in countless other ways enriches our lives. The Bay is the principal visual icon of our region, whether seen when traveling by car or rail along the shoreline, landing at an airport, strolling along the shoreline, or watching the fog stream in on a summer’s day. The nine-county San Francisco Bay Area is home to approximately seven million people making the Bay one of the world’s most urbanized estuaries. 4 Sea Level Rise and the Future of the Bay Area | SPUR, http://www.spur.org/publications/urbanist-article/2009-11-01/sea-level-rise-and- (accessed November 10, 2016).

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San San Francisco Francisco Bay Bay Conservation Conservation and and Development DevelopmentCommission Commission

Open Space Open Space

Figure Figure1.6 1.6 Bay BayArea AreaLand LandUses Usesand andBay BaySubregions Subregions

Private Undeveloped Private Undeveloped

NORTH NORTH

Urban Area Urban Area Historic Shoreline Historic Shoreline

0

Major roads and highways Major roads and highways

0

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4

8 MILES 8 MILES

SUISUN SUISUN MARSH MARSH

NORTH NORTH BAY BAY San jose

San Francisco

CENTRAL CENTRAL BAY BAY

SOUTH SOUTH BAY

BAY

San jose Fig. 1.7. San Francisco Bay Area, land uses and sub regions

SOURCE: Urban and open space (GreenInfo 2004), Regions (EcoAtlas 2009)

SOURCE: Urban and open space (GreenInfo 2004), Regions (EcoAtlas 2009)

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Climate change has the potential to dramatically impact the economy, ecology, and communities in the Bay Area. Managing the threats to the Bay and shoreline development from sea level rise will be one of the defining challenges we face in the 21st century.5 San Francisco’s location on the coast - one of its finest attributes- makes it vulnerable already to annual flooding events like king tides, heavy rain, or large storms sometimes known as atmospheric rivers. The City by the Bay now faces rising sea levels, which will increase the frequency and intensity with which our transit service may be disrupted, sewer and stormwater systems backed up, neighborhood businesses closed, public safety imperiled and travel interrupted.

San Francisco is no stranger to risk or disasters. Evidence of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire remains in photographs, and looms large in our cultural memory; the more recent 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake is still vivid for many. Robust hazard mitigation plans and the City’s efforts to build earthquake resilience remind us of the importance of learning from the past when building our future. Updated building codes, a new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, the new Doyle Drive, and redundant power transmission to the City are just a few ways that San Francisco has become more resilient to earthquakes. We can do the same for the challenge that lies ahead of us with climate change and sea level rise.

5 BCDC, Living with the rising bay

Fig. 1.6. (Left) The image shows the extend of Tidal Marsh in SF Bay area around the year 1800 (Right) The image shows the extend of tidal marsh which exists today in 2010 (in light green), restored baylands and planned restoration

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The bay area coastline has constantly been changing over the years- from filling, dredging and climate change. The shallow estuary that drains water from approximately 40% of California has been a collector of the main streams system. Today, the natural water system has reduced drasticallymany of the streams and creeks are channelized and piped before they reach the bay. Low-lying areas were naturally protected by mudflats, beaches, and marshes. The mudflats and tidal flats were home to this distinct natural habitat. Fig. 1.6 illustrates the extent of historical marsh hundred years back, and today one can see that it has been reduced and restricted to few areas in the Bay. With the sea level rise affecting the bay area tremendously, the future of the coastal ecology, infrastructure and the communities comes to one’s mind.

What’s at risk?

Ecology, Infrastructure, Communities & Economy 8 inches SLR since 1900

6 inches SLR by 2030

36 inches SLR by 2100

355,000 Residents in Bay Area’s 100 year floodplain

$ 46.6 billion Potential economic loss from superstorm & associated floods* Source: Bay Area economic institutes surviving the storm study

Science of sea level rise Along with the sea levels that are predicted to rise by 3 to 6 feet by the end of the century there are additional risks associated as well. One of them is the upstream runoff management, the other is the rise of the ground water and liquefaction, along with the Tidal surge and storms surge. 1.4 RISK TO THE SHORELINES Sea level rise has been often described as a slow moving emergency. But every year, as the tides rise higher or the storms become more intense, the risk is greater. An abundance of scientific studies says the bay’s average tide could climb several feet or more by 2100, with most change coming in the decades after 2050. It’s an inexorable shift that threatens lowFig. 1.8 Every year, as the tides rise higher or the storms become more intense, the risk is greater. Source: flickr

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What are the risks to the shorelines? Global sea levels projections 1-2 feet by 2050 & 3-6 feet by 2100

Upstream runoff

Storm surge

Tidal surge Groundwater increase Liquefaction

Sea Level Rise

Fig. 1.8. Risks to shoreline communities- Rising sea level, tidal surges, storm surges, flooding caused due to upstream run-off, groundwater increase and liquefaction risk.

Fig. 1.9. Days of coastal flooding since 1950 in San Francisco Bay area. Source: climate central

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lying neighborhoods as well as the fish, birds and wildlife that need tidal flats to survive. -If sea levels were to rise 36 inches, the midrange increase through 2100 projected in the most recent study by the National Research Council, water would wash into San Francisco’s Ferry Building twice daily at high tide. -With just 16 inches of sea-level rise, the tollbooths of the Bay Bridge could be flooded during storms. -$35 billion worth of public property in San Francisco is at risk if sea-level rise by 2100 reaches 66 inches, the upper level forecast by the National Research Council. Already, lanes on the ramps connecting Highway 101 to the Shoreline Highway near Mill Valley are closed regularly — 30 times in 2015 — because of high tides, a small but vivid hint of how profoundly our region will be altered in coming decades unless the Bay Area starts making plans now. Communities, Infrastructure and Ecology at risk Fig. 1.9 illustrates the extend of land under the risk of rising waters in the scenario of extreme carbon cuts. One can see the rising waters will not just affect the urbanized shoreline communities, but also is going to greatly affect the transportation networks, shoreline baylands of north bay and south bay. The San Francisco International Terminal along with the Oakland International Airport are fall in the risk zone too. As explained in the earlier part, these rising levels will also increase the frequency of tidal and storm surges, which is going to affect the inlands too.

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Existing organizations Several regional and local efforts have been put into this till date. Organizations such as Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) has undertaken several studies, initiatives and projects to manage the depleting bay lands and tackling the sea levels. Before BCDC was created, families didn’t stroll on bayside trails because none existed. The bay was shrinking by an astonishing 2,000 acres annually. The bay’s wetlands and wildlife were vanishing. After 50 years of groundbreaking stewardship, the size of the bay has increased significantly. We have the nation’s largest urban wildlife refuge and thousands of acres of permanently protected diked former bay lands. The bay shoreline is now fringed by hundreds of miles of trails, parks, beaches, promenades and restoration projects. In addition, BCDC has approved billions of dollars of urban shoreline development. Restaurants, hotels and housing have been approved where appropriate. Fishing piers, kayak-launching facilities, marinas, a baseball park, museums and interpretive centers allow the public to enjoy the bay to an extent that was unthinkable 50 years ago. The bay has been woven into our families’ lives and our region’s economy in a manner that is envied globally. State agencies such as BCDC expect no less than 3 feet and perhaps as much as 10 feet of sea-level rise by 2100. Absent regional planning, collaboration and action, those rising waters will inundate low-lying communities, businesses and natural habitats.


Fig. 1.9. Sea level rise predictions by the year 2100, under extreme carbon cuts scenario. Source: Climate central

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While we still need to minimize bay fill of wetlands and maximize public access to the bay shore and waters, our charge now includes protecting our natural and built environments from rising tides. Rising sea levels threaten our roads and highways, airports, transit systems, water treatment plants and power plants. Rising sea levels also threaten the wetlands and wildlife, that has been worked so hard to protect and expand. Vision While it’s important to protect our shorelines, with the uncertainty of global warming and the rising levels, one needs to shift the focus from protecting shorelines to adapting to rising sea levels within communities, infrastructure and ecology. We must begin with a shared vision for a healthy and accessible bay that is treasured by the communities that surround it.

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Fig. 1.10. BCDC Baylands - Project Area with subregions and segments (Source: Baylands report, 2016)

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CHAPTER 2

SITE SELECTION

Citizen advocacy led to the creation of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuse, the nation’s first such urban refuge, which provides great access to the baylands. Source: baynature.org. Photo: Cris Benton


2.1 STUDY AREA- SAN LEANDRO BAY, OAKLAND Out of all the shorelines communities where the rise in sea level is a risk to the existing infrastructure, ecology and adjacent communities, the site I am interested in focusing as a study area lies between International Boulevard and San Leandro Bay and is bounded by High street to the northwest and 66th Avenue to the southwest. In a northwesterly direction by the I-880 freeway, the shared Union Pacific rail road (UPRR) and the Amtrak Capital corridor

Oakland Port

Downtown Oakland

Alameda San Francisco Bay San Francisco Oakland airport

Fig. 2.1 . Selected site for study (blue) in context of Oakland and San Francisco

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train line, the bay area rapid transit (Bart) train line running parallel with and elevated above San Leandro street, and an Alameda county transit, bus rapid transit lane is proposed along international boulevard running from downtown Berkeley in the north, through downtown Oakland, to bay fair Bart in the south. This particular part of the Oakland has been identified by the metropolitan transportation commission (MTC) as a priority development area and approved for future growth because of its proximity to transit services and additionally to the established job centers, shopping districts and other services. MTC’s transit-oriented development policy conditions regional funding for transit expansion projects on

having enough people living near the proposed new stations to support ridership. The policy sets minimums for the average number of existing and/or permitted housing units within a half-mile of each station (Called as station area) along the expansion corridor. There are a set of minimum station area housing requirements vary by type of project: BART- 3,850 units, Light Rail -3,300 units, Bus Rapid Transit- 2,750 units, Commuter Rail 2,200 units. The MTC has also examined the possibility of an infill station between Coliseum BART and Fruitvale Bart near 14th avenue in their bay area regional rail plan system-wide study alternatives refinements from December 2006 as a means of meeting the travel demands of the existing San Antonio neighborhood. There is an opportunity

Study site

Fig. 2.2. Recognizing specific opportunities for development around mass transit, both existing and proposed, and threats to be addressed with respect to a projected sea level rise, MTC’s map of Priority Development Areas. Source: http://www.socketsite.com/ archives/2015/01/sfs-priority-development-areas-push-bridge-bay.html

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Fig. 2.3. The study area with the transportation corridors.

for transit-oriented development concurrent with the station implementation allowing the future residential or working population access to rapid rail transit that is complementary to the proposed BRT line. BART policy required a daily ridership on par with its network-wide daily station exist average of 7,700, thus providing a growth target for the site. Another transit incentive to this area would be the AC transit BRT line which is proposed to start functioning by end of 2017. Considering these additional transit accessibility, the particular site and the adjacent

areas of San Antonio/ Central Estuary, Fruitvale and Diamond area would be well connected by transit with the Downtown Oakland, San Francisco and the Oakland International Boulevard closely.

2.2 RISKS With the massive potential of the site with the major investments being planned for transit centers around it, this particular sites falls into a category of major risks due to the sea level rise.

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Fig. 2.4. Sea level rise predictions by the year 2100, under extreme carbon cuts scenario. Source: Climate central

Taking the estimated projection of sea level rise by 3 feet estimated to increase by 2050, the site faces a major risk of local flooding and eventually the shifting of the shoreline inland. Infrastructure The rising sea levels, as predicted, would be major risks to the transportation corridors. The local flooding because of the tidal surges along with the coastal water rise, is going to put the the I-880 and the UPRR lines which is on grade in this particular stretch of the Oakland, is predicted to be flooded till after the Coliseum area by 2050.

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Ecology Rising sea levels would eventually shift the shorelines inlands, which is also threaten the tidal lands and wetlands, that has been worked so hard to protect and expand around the San Leandro Bay. Communities The study area is predominately an industrial and low income neighborhoods, which are at a great risk of inundation and flooding, which will not only affect their everyday lives but also will force displacement.


Risk finder by Climate Central For the design research and proposal, the study done by Climate Central’s Surging Seas was referred for various projections and risk analysis. Climate Central’s Surging Seas: Risk Zone map shows areas vulnerable to near-term flooding from different combinations of sea level rise, storm surge, tides, and tsunamis, or to permanent submersion by longterm sea level rise. The accompanying Risk Finder is

an interactive data toolkit for the U.S. that provides local projections and assessments of exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding tabulated for every zip code and municipality along with planning, legislative and other districts. Exposure assessments cover over 100 demographic, economic, infrastructure and environmental variables using data drawn mainly from federal sources, including NOAA, USGS, FEMA, DOT, DOE, DOI, EPA, FCC and the Census.

Fig. 2.5. Sea level rise and flooding predictions at a 5 feet sea level rise. With unchecked pollution, the median projection for when sea level rise reaches 5 ft is 2180 (very likely range, 2130 - 2200+). Source: Climate Central

Fig. 2.6. Social vulnerability Source: Climate Central

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Fig. 2.7. Property values Source: Climate Central

Fig. 2.8. Population at risk Source: Climate Central

Fig. 2.9. Income Source: Climate Central

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Fig. 2.10. The study area with the major employment centers around the site and proposed BART station and BRT on International Boulevard by AC transit

2.3 OPPORTUNITIES The proximity of the study area to major employment centers such as Downtown Oakland, Central Estuary, the Coliseum Industrial and Oakland International Boulevard makes it a good location for future development. BART proposal of an Infill station between Fruitvale and Coliseum along with the proposed BRT line on International Boulevard provides incentives to encourage more housing and mixed use developments in this area. With many of the manufacturing industries moving to the urban fringes from this part of the city, it has led to many

vacant lots and low scale developments. Many of the former industrial sites, today, are brownfield sites or are just turning into impermeable surface parking. Capitalizing on this, one can see these missed opportunities to redefine the land use in between International Boulevard and the San Leandro Bay waterfront, keeping it mind a more efficient, sustainable and resilient land use.

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2.4 THESIS STATEMENT

The research question is started out with is, with the risk prevailing in infrastructure and communities, how can an changing area adapt to ecology, infrastructure and communities? The area of intervention lies between the International Boulevard and San Leandro Bay. This was once a part of large network of marshland. Over time the accumulation of several layers of infrastructure corridors have created numerous inaccessible pockets of land and have restricted the access to the bay leading to acres of underutilized lands in this area. How can such a case be used to adapt to the rising sea levels?

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Coliseum San Leandro Bay

Oakland Airport

Fig. 2.11. The area of intervention (marked by yellow line)

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CHAPTER 3 SITE ANALYSIS

The San Francisco Bay and the San Leandro Bay in 1857. Source: USGS


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3.1 HISTORICAL EVOLUTION The natural systems and urban fabric of Oakland have evolved over time. We are able to witness these changes through the cutting of the shipping canal between Alameda and Oakland thus connecting Oakland Inner Harbor and San Leandro Bay, the gradual infill of San Leandro Bay itself, the realignment of the natural creeks to culverted systems, the platting of the land, the subdivisions of the original platting, as well as the growth of the transportation infrastructure and its consequent imprint upon the parcelization. Fig. 3.1 1892 map of Oakland; Source: USGS

The earliest traceable map of Oakland including the Coliseum neighborhood is dated 1892. The historic edge, creeks, and parcelization of agricultural land around the Coliseum are evident, as is the UPRR/ Amtrak railway line. East Creek Slough is in its natural state, a meandering creek bordered by tidal wetlands that connect to Peralta Creek, Lions Creek and Arroyo Viejo Creek. Today’s street grid at High street and International Boulevard is apparent, extending to San Leandro Street and the railway line. There is a disconnect between this street grid and the grid south of the railway line, traces of which remain today south of the I-880 Freeway. The large parcel between 54th and 57th avenues, which is today knows as 5441 International Boulevard, exists. Boulevard.

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Fig. 3.2 1918 map of Oakland and vicinity ;Source: USGS Historic maps

In 1918, we see a subdivision of the large agricultural parcels to the north of International Boulevard and an increase in streets including the cutting through of Foothill Boulevard at a diagonal. We also see new streets that emerge to the east of 57th Avenue, adjacent to the large parcel at 5441 International Boulevard.

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Fig. 3.3 1949 map of Oakland and vicinity ;Source: USGS Historic maps

In 1949, we see the beginning the filling in of East Creek Slough, and it is no longer connected to Lions Creek and Arroyo Viejo Creek. The large parcel at 5441 International Boulevard is connected to rail and appears to rail and appears to be large storage shed yard, occupied by General Electric, while the curvilinear 65th Avenue appears south of International Boulevard at today’s Lockwood Gardens housing project. The construction of the

Eastshore Freeway- now the I-880 Freeway- has commenced following the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1936.

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Fig. 3.4 1959 map of Oakland and vicinity ;Source: USGS Historic maps

In 1959, East Creek Slough continues to diminish and wetlands are shown on the current pg& E and EBMUD sites south of Freeway. The I-880 Freeway is shown as a six-lane freeway while the streets between International Boulevard and the I-880 Freeway appear as we know them today, with large industrial shown along Coliseum way.

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Fig. 3.5 1973 map of Oakland and vicinity ;Source: USGS Historic maps

In 1973, East Creek Slough has disappeared while the PG&E and EBMUD sites are no longer shown as wetlands. The I-880 Freeway is now an eightlane freeway, there is an increase in the number of industrial buildings shown, and we see the emergence of BART and the Coliseum.

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Fig. 3.6 2016 aerial photograph of Oakland (Source: Google Earth Imagery)

Today, East Creek, Peralta Creek, Lions Creek, and Arroyo Viejo Creek are largely channelized and culverted before daylighting at San Leandro Street and meeting San Leandro Bay. The large industrial parcels south of San Leandro Street remain today, as well as the large parcel at 5441 International Boulevard. A significant number of single-family residential parcels north of San Leandro Street frame this large parcel. The transportation infrastructure

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slices across the site, with the elevated BART line at San Leandro Street, the at-grade UPRR/ Amtrak railway line, and the I-880 Freeway with its onramps and off-ramps.


3.2 NATURAL SETTING Creeks and Channels San Leandro Bay was originally the culmination of fresh water from the Oakland hills meeting the salt water San Francisco Bay, creating a rich mixture of salt and fresh water marshland that was home to a diverse population of wildlife. Figure 3.7 shows the extend of the historic marshland which existed almost till the International Boulevard street today. Some of the major watersheds and streams from Oakland hills drained to the San Leandro Bay. The damming of San Leandro Creek to create Lake Chabot meant that the movement of sediments, which once washed down

the creeks supplying high-quality sand to Alameda’s beach resorts and nutrients to the tidal marshlands, was interrupted and erosion problems began to occur. Additionally, the decreased water flow and the infilling of the marshlands and bay further led to the degradation in the habitat of the local wildlife. There have since been many initiatives to restore the shoreline and wetlands of San Leandro Bay. The shorelines include the mouths of eight major creek systems as well as Arrowhead Marsh, a healthy 50 acre- tidal wetland, and a 72-acre wetland restoration project. In 1998, one of the East Bay’s most significant wetland restoration projects was completed at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional

Fig. 3.7 The extend of Marshland in early 1800s.

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Fig. 3.8 The streams draining into San Leandro Bay with their watersheds.

Shoreline, which restored tidal flow to 72 acres of tidal and seasonal wetlands that had been filled in the mid 1980s. The project resulted in the recolonization of native plants and the return of many species of birds. Thousand of migrating birds have returned to the marsh annually to rest and feed, and some species such as avocets, terns and the endangered California clapper rail and burrowing owl, live at the marsh year round. 1 Today, a local organization called “Save the Bay�, continues this effort through the removal of non-native plants, the collection of site-specific native seeds, the propagation of native plants, and the removal of trash from the creek and the shoreline.

1http://www.ebparks.org/Assets/files/MLK_map_2-4-11.pdf

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While these initiatives have seen many benefits to the health of San Leandro Bay, the shoreline itself is only partially accessible to the public. The only remaining natural marshed include Arrowhead Marsh, Damon Marsh, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline and small section of marsh along Airport Channel. The enjoyment of these space is limited by its discontinuity and inaccessibility. At the southern end of the bay, Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Park opens up to the bay while at the northern end, private industrial parcels back onto the bay, preventing public access along the shoreline.


Fig. 3.10 The arrow head marsh see to the right of the San Leandro Bay. The San Leandro Bay Bay Area, an important stop on the Pacific Flyaway, is widely known among birdwatchers and ornithologists. It has attracted great number of birds of many species.

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rest and feed, and for some species such as avocets, terns, egrets, and the endangered California clapper rail and burrowing owl, to live at the marsh year round. School and volunteer groups utilize the restored marsh for teaching opportunities and community projects. Students learn about wetlands ecosystems, venture into the marsh in canoes to explore the wetlands, and participate in a wide variety of monitoring and restoration efforts. In addition, volunteers participate in various ongoing restoration and conservation efforts. Persons or groups wishing to volunteer can contact the park supervisor at 1-888-327-2757, option 3, ext. 4541. Teachers interested in field trips for wetlands study or interpretive programs can contact the Crab Cove Visitor Center at (510) 544-3187.

Fig. 3.11 Existing open space , wetlands and trails around San Leandro Bay ;Source: MLK Jr. Shoreline

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Fig. 3.11 The East creek Slough before it meets the Bay, with the I-880 seen in the background crossing over it.

Fig. 3.12 The East Bay trail next to the San Leandro Bay with the some marshlands seen on the shoreline.

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3.3 LAND USE AND SITE CHARACTERISTICS The site falls within the Coliseum Redevelopment Area while the shoreline falls within the Estuary Policy Plan. The site is zoned primarily as General Industrial and Housing Business Mix in Oakland’s General Plan, with a mix of Commercial zooming designations along International Boulevard. The estuary policy plan calls for a planned waterfront district on the southern side of tidewater avenue and light industrial on the northern side. Within the site itself, the current uses are primarily light industrial and warehousing with commercial and auto repair oriented uses along International Boulevard, and two residential neighborhood pockets south of International Boulevard. The

Melrose and Lockwood- Tevis neighborhoods are composed of single-family and duplex residences from the 1920s and 1940s as well as Oakland Housing Authority’s Lockwood Gardens multi family housing project. Adjacent to Lion Creek Crossings are several schools on the corner of 66th Avenue and International Boulevard including community united elementary school, Coliseum College Prep Academy (middle school), and Roots International Academy (Middle school). Melrose Elementary School is also located within the site on 53rd Avenue between International Boulevard and San Leandro street. Local fashion designers, clothes and furniture

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Fig. 3.14 Coliseum way lined with power lines on one edge of the street. The land under the power lines are used as parking. Most of the industries around the Coliseum way are storage and light manufacturing industries.

Fig. 3.15 San Leandro street with the elevated BART lines in the centre and frieght lines at grade along the street.The built forms along the street are mostly small and mid size businesses such as furniture and clothes stores with many storage and light industrial buildings within them.

Fig. 3.16 International Boulevard with the large 5441 plot seen to the side of it. Many local organizations have been advocating for alternate uses for this brownfield site.

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Fig. 3.17 Transportation corridors across the study area.

Fig. 3.18 Existing built form within the study area. The industrial and residential fabric can be clearly be seen. The diagram also illustrates the vacancy which are in form of brownfield sites, surface parking, channels etc.

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manufacturers occupy on historic Art Deco warehouse building at 5601 San Leandro Street. The Estuary Policy Plan calls for the preservation of these older buildings that represent the history of the city, and where possible, their adaptation t contemporary reuse as a valuable resource in fostering nontraditional land uses such as a live-work, artisan studios, incubator, as well as R &D space. Parcel 5441 International Boulevard Located behind the 57th Avenue Historic District is the 23 acre parcel at 5441 International Boulevard. Occupied by General Electric since the 1930s, the parcel is currently used for the temporary storage of modular office trailers. General Electric has commenced a remediation of some of the soil on the site, before which a public comments process was held. Local residents perceive the site as poorly maintained, visually unappealing, and serving as an attractive nuisance for vagrants. They have expressed an interest in the redevelopment of the site into a higher and more productive use that directly benefits the City of Oakland and nearby community. Given its size and community interests in the site, the parcel is ideal for the exploration of its potential as a catalyst site for the revitalization of the neighborhood. Accessibility Within the site itself, development patterns vary greatly. There are large super blocks industrial land juxtaposed against older single-family residential parcels. The super blocks measure upto ž mile in length, limiting circulation and preventing a

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pedestrian oriented scale. A walkable block dimension must be considered if the site is to transition from it’s light industrial uses to a mixeduse neighborhood. The site falls within the jurisdiction of the city of Oakland, the port of Oakland, and the San Francisco bay conversation and development commission (BCDC). While much of the land between International Boulevard and the I-880 freeway is privately owned, there are several parcels between the i-880 freeway and the shoreline that are publicly owned by alameda county, east bay municipal utility district (EDMUD), east bay regional park district, as well as pacific gas and electric (PG & E). While these parcels are, large and provide significant redevelopment opportunities, there is a disconnect in the land use pattern as it meets the shoreline. Adjacent neighborhoods and districts are interrupted by transportation corridors, thus exaggerating the contrast between the activities along the shoreline and those in inland areas of the city.


Fig. 3.20 Existing block structure within the site. One can see the inaccessibility to the waterfront and the poor walkability around the area owning to the large industrial block sizes. Fig. 3.12 The East Bay trail next to the San Leandro Bay with the some marshlands seen on the shoreline.

Fig. 3.21 Vacant plot study in East Oakland ( Data source: City of Oakland)

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Fig. 3.22 The intersection of San Leandro street and 54th street. The transportation corridors form a major barrier for the contuinty of urban fabric. Most of the lots around the BART line, San Leandro street are used as parking or the rear side of the buildings.

Fig. 3.23 The large parking lot on Coliseum way flanked by the channelized East Creek Slough. A weekly flea market takes place in the plot adjacent to it(not seen in the photograph)

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3.4 CURRENT PLANNING CONTEXT At a citywide level, there has been significant planning along the Oakland waterfront at jack London Square, Oak to Ninth, and the Central Estuary. There has been a transit-oriented development at Fruitvale BART station; there are plans for transit-oriented development on the current surface parking lot at the Coliseum BART station and the city of Oakland is studying the potential for the redevelopment of the Coliseum itself into a regional sports and entertainment destination. A selection of these projects will be discussed in detail in Chapter threeprecedents. It is worthy to note that in between these plans and studies lie my thesis site, anchored to the north by Port of Oakland and to the south by Oakland Airport, without any recent planning efforts directed specially towards it. The site itself falls within the city of Oakland Coliseum Redevelopment area, which was created in 1995 and is the largest redevelopment area in Oakland, and California, covering approximately 11 square miles. The Coliseum Redevelopment Plan was adopted in 1995 and was last amended in March 2009. The plan set out to eliminate blight and correct the environmental deficiencies of the Coliseum neighborhood through the assembly of land into parcels suitable for modern, integrated development with improved pedestrian and vehicular circulation; the reuse, redesign and development of undeveloped areas which are stagnant or improperly utilized; the strengthening of the economic base of the project area and the community by the installation of needed site improvements to stimulate new commercial/ light industrial expansion, employment,

and economic growth, and the establishment and implementation of performance criteria to assure high site design standards and environmental quality and other design elements which provide unity and integrity to the entire project. Following the Coliseum Redevelopment Plan, the city of Oakland released the Coliseum Area Redevelopment Project Five- Year Implementation Plan FY 2009-2014, which proposed the following strategies to revitalize the Coliseum neighborhoods: improving intermodal transportation opportunities, public facilities and infrastructure in residential, commercial and industrial areas, assisting with environmental assessments, clean up, and land assembly to stimulate catalyst development projects and improved underutilized properties, improving security and directly addressing on-going blight conditions through targeted engagement programs, and promoting and stimulating investment in the residential neighborhoods, commercial and industrial areas throughout the Coliseum redevelopment project area. The city of Oakland has been active in planning the Coliseum BART station transit village, lion creek crossings Project, Coliseum Transit village replacement parking infrastructure, San Leandro Street Utility Under-grounding (between 66th and 73rd Avenues to compliment the Coliseum Transit Hub street scape project), and 66th Avenue streets cape (between San Leandro Street and International Boulevard) within the Coliseum Redevelopment Area.

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Where the Coliseum Redevelopment Plan focuses upon uses inland, the Estuary Policy plan focuses uses adjacent to the shoreline. In October 200, the city of Oakland and the port of Oakland prepared the estuary policy plan to reinforce Oakland’s identity as a livable city on the bay, with input from Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), East Bay Regional Parks District, the Trust for Public Lands, the City of Oakland Life enrichment Agency- Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, and the Oakland Museum. The estuary Policy Plan was inspired by an award winning 1993 report from the League of Women voters entitled “The Waterfront: It touches the World; How does it touch Oakland?” The report identified that Oakland’s estuary should not be viewed as a single-purposed district isolated from

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the city, but rather as a diverse and multi-faceted place that connects the city and the bay. The Estuary Policy Plan makes a series of recommendations to improve Oakland’s waterfront including a system of open spaces and shoreline access that provides recreational use opportunities, environmental enhancement, interpretive experiences, visual amenities, and significant gathering places, a series of individual parks, open spaces and shoreline access points, connected by a continuous landscaped parkway with promenades, bikeways and shoreline trails, a variety of uses that strengthen Oakland’s position as an urban center, accommodate economic growth and encourage development that complements


the downtown and adjacent neighborhoods, at the preservation of industrial areas which are necessary to support Oakland’s port, as well as city’s role in the food processing, manufacturing, and distribution significant measures to improve both regional and local access; the creation of a continuous landscaped recreational parkway, accommodating pedestrians and bicycles as well as transit and vehicular access, along the entire five and a half mile length of waterfront, between 66th Avenue and the Jack London District.

amenity by increasing awareness of its proximity to the adjacent neighborhoods through stronger connections while providing new parks, recreation, and open space. The issue of access and connectivity specific to the site will be discussed in further in Chapter Two- Site Analysis. Currently, the length of the Oakland shoreline is disconnected from the downtown, as well as surrounding commercial and residential neighborhoods due to the linear transit infrastructure barriers of the freeway, rail corridors, and the BART corridor.

In making these recommendations, the Estuary Policy Plan aims to increase the awareness of the waterfront throughout the city and the region, and maximize the benefit of Oakland’s waterfront for the people of the city; promote the diversity of the waterfront by providing opportunities for new parks, recreation, and open space as well as cultural, educational, and entertainment experiences, and new or revitalized retail, commercial and residential development, Enhance and promote the city’s waterfront for the economic benefit of the community, with emphasis on Oakland’s position as a leading West Coast maritime terminal and a primary Bay Area passenger and cargo airport; Connect the waterfront to the rest of the city, with emphasis on linking the adjacent neighborhoods and downtown directly to the waterfront, reducing physical barriers and the perception of isolation from the water’s edge, and improving public access to and along the waterfront and Preserve and enhance the existing natural areas along the waterfront.

The 2010 Central Estuary Plan alternatives report examines in finer detail the opportunity for new residential and industrial development, infrastructure and open space improvements, and general quality of life gains in the central estuary bound by 19th avenue to the north, I-800 freeway to the east, 54th avenue to the south and Oakland estuary to the west. While the “east sub area” of this report overlaps with my proposed thesis site, the studio doesn’t connect over the barriers of the freeway, rail corridors and BART corridor into East Oakland. The nature of these barriers will need to be overcome if the adjacent neighborhoods are to have improved pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access to the shoreline.

It is the intention of my thesis to address the San Leandro Bay shoreline and enhance its role as an

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CHAPTER 4

GUIDELINES FROM EXPERIENCES


4.1 Overview of Precedents Tackling the rising sea levels within our urban environments is something which is being experimented and dealt with recently. Human settlements next to the water were generally more accustomed to their environments. Cities were constructed on a higher ground and communities adapted out of necessity. The large infrastructure projects today have yet to be tested by significant sea level rise. Due to the lack of precedents which provide an explicit example of urban evolution in response to SLR, the following precedents instead help to illustrate segments of the design proposed. The selected site looks at the possibility of ecology restoration to accommodate a shifting intertidal zone, daylighting and restoration of piped creek system to mitigate the pressure of rising tides and upstream flooding, utilizing vacant and underutilized lots for transit-oriented development around the transit corridors and infrastructure barriers as opportunities to connect city back to the waterfront. Therefore the following case studies begin to form a design toolkit. 4.2 South Bay Salt Restoration Project: San Francisco Bay Area The expansive tidal wetlands that once circled the edge of San Francisco Bay served as natural buffers against flood events. Unfortunately, San

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Fig. 4.1. The map shows the extent of San Francisco Bay’s tidal wetlands in the 1850s, as well as the completed and permitted projects that are part of the regional effort to restore the Bay’s functioning wetlands. Map by Louis Jaffe and John Kelly, GreenInfo Network. Data source: San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, 2013. California Joint Venture Projects Online System for Tracking. Programming by Ducks Unlimited.


Francisco Bay has lost more than 85% of its tidal wetlands. Once established, newly restored wetlands act as giant sponges, absorbing floodwaters during storm events and slowly releasing runoff back into the Bay. Because of historic land subsidence in Silicon Valley, some of California’s most valuable business real estate is at risk of tidal flooding. The Restoration Project will construct a series of levees coupled with tidal marshes on their outboard side. Once established, these outboard tidal marshes will be the first line of flood defense and will help protect the levees from storm wave action and tidal surge.

development of new tidal marsh. Studies have shown that marshes in the South Bay remained intact, even between 1940 and 1960 -- a time when sea level was already rising and the land was subsiding rapidly due to groundwater extraction in Santa Clara County.

Restored tidal wetlands also increase the flood carrying capacity of local creeks, flood control channels, and rivers. By scouring the mouths of these waterways and reestablishing their connection to historic flood plains, new tidal marshes will help maintain existing flood control infrastructure.1

Tidal Marshes Capture Carbon3

Once tidal marshes are established they become very efficient sediment traps. In effect, they tend to preserve themselves as they age, provided that enough sediment is available in the Bay. For this reason new tidal marsh areas are likely to keep pace with changing sea level conditions.

Tidal Marshes Grow as Sea Levels Rise2 Tidal marshes develop by gathering sediments and growing vegetation as sea levels rise. As sediment washes into newly opened salt ponds, it accumulates and begins to establish new tidal plains for marsh vegetation.

Because tidal marshes are such biologically productive habitats, they capture significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Unlike many freshwater marshes, tidal saltwater marshes release only negligible amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. As a result, the carbon storage benefits of tidal salt marshes may exceed those of freshwater marshes. Tidal marshes may be more efficient per unit area than trees when it comes to removing carbon from the atmosphere.

The South Bay is an excellent place for sediment deposition and this bodes well for the

Given enough sediment, tidal marshes continue to grow and pull carbon dioxide

1 www.southbayrestoration.org/ 2 Ibid

3 www.southbayrestoration.org/

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Fig. 4.2. Wetland restoration in process: The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Refuge Environmental Education Center Source: Baylands Complete Report, 2016

out of the atmosphere as sea levels rise. While specific research is needed to quantify the carbon sequestration capacity of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, there is no doubt that restoring tidal marsh is an effective method for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helping to reduce the effects of climate change. The effects of climate change, particularly sealevel rise, challenge the long-term viability of managed baylands habitats. It is prudent to

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minimize reliance on managed systems, as these ponds are spatially fixed features in a bay that is dynamic and moving landward. Managed ponds in public ownership are already experiencing technical and financial challenges to sustain their expected performance. Even under low to moderate sea-level projections, the functionality of these managed systems will become increasingly difficult to sustain.4 To control water levels and salinities inside the ponds for target species, the ater-control structures and levees usually require specific 4 Baylands report, 2016


Fig. 4.3. The imapct of sea-level rise on managed ponds over time, from the present day to 50 years from now on. Water surface elevation is controlled by the water-control structure. Source: Bayland and Climate change report, 2016

elevations for water intake and outlet points. Intake water for managed baylands comes from the bay or adjacent freshwater sources, depending on the location and habitat goals of that pond. Climate-change-related stressors, such as higher water levels, a greater frequency and intensity of storm events, and regional salinity shifts, may make it difficult or even mpossible in the future for managers to maintain target habitat conditions inside the ponds (fig. 3.3).

inside managed ponds and marshes over time. Levees will come under pressure, either due to increased overtopping of the crest or direct erosion of the levee itself. The most immediate action would be to raise or reinforce existing levees to keep unregulated tidal waters out and retain the ability to control internal water levels. Another approach would be to take advantage of outboard tidal marshes or other site-specific protection opportunities where there are opportunities to do so.5

Management actions, some of them novel, will be needed to sustain target habitat conditions

Furthermore, to sustain water-management capabilities, water-control structures would 5 Baylands report, 2016

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Fig. 4.4. Example of a levee realignment, coupled with tidal marsh restoration, Source: Baylands report, 2016

probably have to be modified, added, or replaced, and managed ponds and marshes may become more reliant on the pumping of water as opposed to more passive gravitydriven configurations. In more extreme cases, managed retreat may be appropriate for some of these areas, requiring the relocation or abandonment of diked baylands in areas of higher threat from sea-level rise. Abandoned ponds could then be converted to other (likely tidal) habitat types, after the need for additional flood protection at the specific location is evaluated.6 Innovative approaches to making managed ponds and marshes more resilient could be pursued for retrofitting existing diked baylands or constructing new ones. These might include designs for more flexible water-control structures or watermanagement configurations that can 6 ibid

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accommodate changes in sea level. Also, there may be ways to allow the bathymetry of managed ponds and marshes to rise with sea levels by capturing sediment, which could ameliorate the need for reinforcing levees and pumping water. Baylands of Corte Madera and Palo Alto The towns of Corte Madera and Palo Alto, located within San Francisco Bay, were both developed in low-lying areas of marshland. Present day flooding within the town of Corte Madera is caused by three sources: extreme high tides, storm water runoff and areas of substandard storm drainage infrastructure. Flood waters can reach depths of two to three feet, inundating a significant amount of urban area.7 To protect the city from high tides a levee was 7 ibid


Fig. 4.5. Aerial view of Palo Alto Bay lands. Source www.cityofpaloalto.org

Fig. 4.6. Palo Alto Baylands (Flood Basin). Source: Google Images

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built along the urban edge. Stormwater is piped through the levee to a catchmentwetland. The wetland discharges to the bay via gravity or a monitored pump station. Gravity outflow from the wetland is controlled with an electronically controlled tide gate and culvert. The tide gate only opens when the interior water level is higher than that of the outlying bay. The city of Corte Matera advises its residents to protect their property against floods through the following methods: re-grade the lot to be higher than expected flood Figurewaters or construct and earthen berm, waterproof the walls of a structure and place watertight closures at the doorways, or raise the structures above flood levels. All drainage from the town of Palo Alto is conveyed to a large flood basin which dually serves as a wetland. To maintain the marsh during nonflood periods a slide/flap gate connects the basin to the Bay via a culvert. Tidal inundation is prevented during flood periods as the basin fills up with flood waters. Along with storm water management, the flood basin has become a popular outdoor recreation area and provides significant habitat along the North American bird migration flyway.

4.3 Surface Channel Storm Water NetworkWestern Harbor, Bo01 Swedish Housing Exposition, Malmo, Sweden The city of Malmo, supporting a population of approximately 280,000 residents, has begun to make a name for itself in the way of sustainability. Current municipal goals include climate neutrality by 2020. By 2030 the municipality plans to run on 100% renewable energy. The term sustainable development used within Malmo is defined in the UN report “Our Common Future”, also known as the Bruntland Report, as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Three dimensions of societal development must cooperate for the long term success of sustainable development: social, economic and ecological dimensions. The catalyst within Malmo for sustainable development was Bo01; the first Swedish housing exposition implemented in 2001 on an abandoned brownfield industrial site adjacent to the city center. The Bo01 district is supplied by 100% renewable energy and serves as an example for sustainable urban renewal far beyond Sweden’s borders. Bo01 represents the first step in the process of transforming the 160 hectares of industrial

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Fig. 4.7 .Aerial view of the housing blocks in Malmo Source: Google Images

Fig. 4.9. Bo01 courtyard and Aqua-point network diagram Source: www.urbangreenbluegrids.com

Fig. 4.8 Bo01 courtyard and Aqua-point network diagram Source: www.malmo.se

Fig. 4.10.. Bo01 natural ponds integrated into the urban design program of the site ource: www.urbangreenbluegrids.com

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estate and port. When completed, the area will offer homes to 30,000 people. Bo01 set out to be the first of a series of projects planned for Malmo’s Western Harbor which strove to create strong urban environments in which a sustainable lifestyle for residents, would be effortless. Calling on more than 20 architect-developer teams the overall urban design of the site was inspired by the intricacy of a fish net; a network of offset corridors and plazas, blocking strong Baltic seaside winds. The underlying goal of the development was to negate the commonly held belief that living sustainably was accomplished only through a significant measure of personal sacrifice and inconvenience.

ensuring natural elements are integrated with architectural design. Integration of stormwater drainage and architectural design of housing Despite the high density and the urban character, a great deal of attention has been given to highly diverse green spaces and biodiversity. Large numbers of trees, creeper plants, ponds and green roofs mean that every garden is home to at least 50 varieties of plants and offers food for birds. The public spaces, most of which are closed to cars, provide a range of opportunities for cycling or walking along its pleasant routes.

Transformation from an industrial site Due to the high cost of excavating and treating all contaminated soils on site, the site was managed moderately through the excavation and treatment of 3,500 m2 (11,482 sq. ft.) of contaminated soil. The site was then topped with 1.2 m of new soil and graded to create a subtle ridge line along the western edge of the site. Most of the sites storm water is gathered and fed through a series of treatment pools prior to being released into the eastern canal. Only during a strong storm surge does water drain toward the western edge of the site. Bo01 structures are designed with the use of a system of green points, the green factor,

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Many buildings utilize green roof technology, absorbing and slowly releasing storm water. Due to the toxic soils bellow, storm water is prevented from infiltrating, architects were encouraged to utilized storm water within the design of their sites common space. Storm water, collected from structures and impervious surfaces gathers by way of an intricate network of open runnels. These runnels feed treatment pools centered within the neighborhoods common areas. Storm water is treated aesthetically, trickling through a series of shallow open pools termed ‘aqua points’, the storm water then collects in final treatment basins along the eastern edge of the


site prior to being released. During the summer months storm water is continually pumped back through the aqua points, creating an urban water feature year round. By stimulating a great deal of diversity in the architecture without the usual restrictions, the district’s planners have created an unusual laboratory, resulting in an exceptionally pleasant district. Rainwater is diverted through above-ground gutters. The rainwater drainage system has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing, with waterfalls, ponds and various elements for buffering and purifying the water. Some of the district’s topography was designed specially to realise a natural rundown to the sea or the central canal. The green roofs help reduce the amount of rainwater to be drained. Each building is surrounded by a gutter that is part of the design of the public space. 3.3 Rotterdam Waterplan 2050 ‘Water Plan 2 Rotterdam’ outlines the water management objectives of the City of Rotterdam and the water boards for the next few years. These objectives need to be set out in specific terms, especially in view of the increasing evidence of climate change. Climate change can have a dramatic impact on Rotterdam. In order to make the city ‘waterproof’, a new approach is required in terms of water storage,

water quality and flood protection. In the City Vision, the municipal administration states what it has in mind for Rotterdam: a city with a strong economy and an attractive place to live. This development and all the measures contained in this Water Plan are closely connected. Plenty has been done in recent years. Extra surface water areas were created in the revamped Zuiderpark, increasing the storage capacity. The banks were redesigned, the ecology has improved and the park now offers more space for recreation. Canals and brooks in the north and south areas were cleaned up and the quality of the water here has improved tremendously. Rotterdam is currently not a riverside city, but rather an unusual city trying to be as usual as possible. In the coming century the water will pose an increasing threat to the city from four directions: the sea, the river, the sky and the land. In this design study the water threat is seized upon to examine a number of other pressing topics in the city. five future perspectives not only sketch solutions for the water problem they also put forward opportunities for a more attractive city.

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In the first perspective, the present sea level rise is counteracted by means of a new maritime defensive work that defines a city inside the dikes and a city outside the dikes far more distinctly than is presently the case. In the area outside the dikes measures are taken that allow for periodic flooding. The second perspective designates the Maas as the principal public domain, along and on which people can live. The tidal fluctuation of the water level should not be conceived as a problem in this context, but as a guarantee for an individual urban and architectural vocabulary of riverside housing. The third perspective not only pleads for a more expansive public transport system by water, but also for a smoother interlinking of the water network and the land network thus creating a comprehensive and attractive public transport system. The fourth perspective proposes the structural uncoupling of the rainwater discharge from the sewerage system in Rotterdam. Instead of further expansion of the costly underground water infrastructure, the retention, storage and discharge of rainwater is henceforth visible and audible in the public space. The last perspective highlights the ecological potential of the banks of the Maas.

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Fig. 4.11. Water plazas, seen as a major features of the plan. Source: www.urbanisten.nl


Fig. 4.12. Waterplan: Rotterdam, Vision plan 2030. Source: http://www.rotterdamclimateinitiative.nl/

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4.4 Jack London District, Oakland, California Jack London District was selected as a precedent owning to its recent redevelopment attempting to revitalize inner city industrial land with a mix of uses, its proximity to Oakland’s waterfront, its disconnection from downtown Oakland due to the barrier of the I-880 Freeway, and its walkable block scale that is a continuation of downtown Oakland’s original planning. Jack London Square is located at the terminus ofBroadway in Oakland, overlooking the Oakland Estuary towards Alameda. Historically, Jack London Square was a symbol

of Oakland’s prominent seaport serving the shipping and agriculture industries. Today, Oakland continues as a working waterfront with an international container terminal, as well as local ferries to Alameda and SanFrancisco, Union Pacific freight trains, and the Capitol Corridor Amtrak commuter railway line serving San Jose and Sacramento. Jack London square also serves as a popular tourist attraction and its surrounding neighborhood, the Jack London District,has begun to undergo transformation. Today, the land uses of Jack London District are a mix of light industrial, commercial and

Fig. 4.13. Jack London square between the I-880 and the waterfront. Source: Google images

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residential. There are many historic warehouses that have been converted into entertainment venues and office uses. Similar to the Coliseum site, the I-880 Freeway acts as a significant barrier between the Jack London District and its immediate surroundings. While the street grid pattern of the downtown continues to the waterfront, the I-880 freeway creates a significant physical separation between downtown and Jack London square, despite the two districts being only eight blocks apart. Mayor Jerry Brown’s 10K Downtown housing initiative of 1999 set out to bring an additional 10,000 residents to Oakland’s downtown and the Jack London District witnessed an increase

in new housing development. Loft-type residence conversions in existing warehouse buildings were already underway as were live-work units that added to the traditional commercial and manufacturing and industrial character of adjacent inland areas and helped to establish this inland area as a lively urban mixed-use district. The Estuary Policy Plan also makes recommendations for the development of the Jack London District. These recommendations include encouraging active,publicly-oriented ground level uses or habitable spaces built to property lines with windows and

Fig. 4.14. The entrance to the Jack London square. The at grade amtrak lines, which were seen earlier as a barrier, has been now designed to be pedestrian friendly. Source: Google Images

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doors that are oriented towards the street; providing built-to lines along streets, providing adequate setbacks and separation between adjacent buildings;distinguishing building mass or elevations into different components of approximately one quarter block or less; designing character-defining architectural features. With the exception of Water street along the waterfront, the streets of Jack London Square are car-oriented rather than pedestrian- oriented, with the width and number of lanes allowing for a higher speed of driving. Despite the proximity of the bay, nature is not dominant. View corridors are obscured while street trees and landscaping is minimal. The waterfront functions as the only open space for the neighborhood; there are no pocket parks or open spaces designated for residents more so than tourists. Despite the density of dwelling units achieved with the new super block residential developments, the streets are not thriving with pedestrians. This may be a testament to the high foreclosure rate in the new developments, or it may be the lack of walkupground floor units that maximize entrances into the street and provide a landscape buffer. The diversity of architectural design and massing variation is limited and results in superblock developments appearing more overwhelming to the pedestrians. While Jack London Square’s revitalization is still in progress, its waterfront

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has become more publicly accessible, its retail and restaurants have been renovated, and its residential and working population has increased thus beginning to support these new mixed-use amenities. Jack London Square’s largest hurdle, yet to be overcome, is its physical and psychological disconnection from the downtown owning to the barrier of the I-880 freeway overpass and its lack of regular transit connections. The streetcar system connecting the uptown, downtown, and Jack London Square being considered by the city of Oakland could assist in mitigating the buffer.


4.5 Fruitvale transit village, Oakland Fruitvale Transit Village was selected as a precedent due to its proximity to the Coliseum neighborhood and its implementation of transitoriented development around an existing BART station. The neighborhood of Fruitvale is home to Oakland’s largest Latino population and is centered on International Boulevard at Fruitvale Avenue. In2004, the Unity Council, a community advocacy and economic group representing the Fruitvale neighborhood, opened Fruitvale transit village. The project has come to be considered a model

for transit- oriented development in the Bay Area due to its mix of retail, community services, and housing integrated with public transportation. The project was conceived when BART proposed building structured parking on its existing surface parking lot and their proposed plans were met by opposition from the local community, and BART elected to work with the community to determine and meet shared goals. The area was crimeridden, half the stores were vacant, and people viewed the areas as dangerous and unattractive. Furthermore, a critical focus of this project, unlike other projects, was that

Fig. 4.15 The Fruitvale BART station and the entry to the fruitvale transit village. Source: Google images

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the anchor tenants were going to be non-profit agencies. BART has shifted its policy since its initial conception when BART stations originally built in the 1960s and 1970s were surrounding by BART parking lots that unintentionally cut them off from communities. BART’s goal is to make stations accessible to pedestrians, bikers, buses, shuttles and carpools with single driver cars relegated to last on the list. BART witnessed successful revitalization of the Rock ridge neighborhood in North Oakland with the growth of a vital commercial district along College Avenue. Phase 1 of the project includes 47 units of mixed-

income live work lifts above 40,000SF of retail including banking, services, restaurants, clothing stores and healthcare providers. Additionally, there are 115,000 SF of community services office space. The retail lines an active pedestrian street and plaza between the BART station and the neighborhood’s primary retail artery, International Boulevard, which also serves as a space for gathering and outdoor markets. In accessing the success of Fruit vale Transit Village, the Unity council recognizes that the project successfully met its goals in strengthening the existing community institutions and catalyzing neighborhood revitalization- physically, economically and

Fig. 34.16. Phase 1 of the project includes 47 units of mixed-income live work lifts above 40,000SF of retail including banking, services, restaurants, clothing stores and healthcare providers. Additionally, there are 115,000 SF of community services office space. The retail lines an active pedestrian street and plaza between the BART station and the neighborhood’s primary retail artery, International Boulevard, which also serves as a space for gathering and outdoor markets. Source: Google images

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socially- reducing poverty, building assets, and contributing to the local economy- by providing a stable source of jobs and income; encouraging and leveraging public and private investment; exchanging choices for neighborhood residents, including services and retail choices; providing high quality, affordable housing, improving the perception and reality of safety; beautifying a blighted area; increasing BART ridership and reduce traffic and pollution; and being sustainable and environmentally sound.

example not only of mixed- use transit oriented development, but also an example of what can result from partnerships between public transportation agencies, local leaders, and the community as well as the use of creative financing to achieve design and construction outcomes that make strong public urban spaces.

Learnings While this description provides a positive view of Fruitvale Transit Village, there are observations to note in considering improvements that could be made when designing for future transitoriented developments. Structured Parking may be a better integrated into the master plan of the project in encouraging more pedestrians to walk through the main street, increasing the sense of vitality, when walking to the train station from their parked car or vice versa, with the ground floor of the parking structure lined with retailer community uses. In facilitating a connection between the BART station and the International Boulevard neighborhood, Fruitvale transit village is an

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CHAPTER 5 DESIGN STRATEGIES

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Fig. 5.1. Proposed design for the study area

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5.1 VISION

“A long term vision plan for adaptable waterfront district The design proposal for the future of San Leandro Bay district illustrates a visionary and comprehensive framework for a sustainable and adaptable waterfront. The threat of rising sea level becomes the framework for a flexible and holistic design between built form, landscape, and transportation infrastructure. By arraying the activities of recreation, ecology, and compact development along the corridors and combining these design strategies with a soft infrastructure system, the San Leandro Bay waterfront has the potential to become a precedent for other transportation corridors vulnerable to sea level rise. The project will use soft infrastructure systems to create a more environmental, technical, and economically resilient waterfront development. Infrastructure system, solutions can emerge for the assimilation of sea level rise and flooding.

Past 1850

Tidal lands and ecological habitat

Transportation corridors

Manufacturing & Light Industries establishments

Manufacturing industries start to move out Most of freight lines stop functioning Creation of lost spaces along Transportation corridors

High risk of flooding because of SLR and tidal surges

2050

Adapting to the rising sea levels and balancing ecology, infrastructure and community

Future 2100

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5.2 KEY DESIGN STRATEGIES The site faces the challenge of transition. This area which once was a marshland with an extensive natural ecology, over time, transformed into a transportation and industrial corridor. Today, as the manufacturing industries are declining and relocating to areas where they can find cheaper establishment costs, many of those parcels are vacant or merely being used as large surface parking. The transportation infrastructure also forms significant barriers through this site, restricting the access to the waterfront. With the high risk because of rising sea level, inundation, and local flooding by the end of the century, the future of these areas can be made more efficient regarding bringing a balance between the environment and built environment. To achieve integration and coordination between ecology and built environment, the aspects including sustainability of the natural environment, the prosperity of the economy and urban life, interaction between communities and waterfront and identification of the site’s regional role in the long term is thought about. The framework looks at how the urban fabric of the site can be repaired, restitched and rebuilt into adaptive and sustainable built environment.

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Fig. 5.2. Sketch showing the strategy for ecological restorationdaylighting streams and horizontal levee for SLR

Strategy one INCREMENTAL SLR ADAPTATION The first approach was to create a framework to prepare for the rising sea levels, tidal surges and local flooding. Bayland reports on climate change and resiliency prescribes the importance of restoring and protecting complete tidal wetlands systems and restoring estuary–watershed connections that nourish the bay lands with sediment and freshwater. The thesis takes the idea further and explores recovering and restoring the historical drainage pattern and create a system of horizontal levee along the shoreline. The two systems work together to start the restoration process of lost ecological corridors around San Leandro Bay.


Fig. 5.3 . Sketch showing the strategy for creating more connections to the waterfront through the ecological corridors.

Fig. 5.4 . Sketch showing the strategy for creating room for development after the ecological restoration of the district

Strategy two FLOOD MITIGATION The next framework was to start re-imagining these ecological restoration projects into new mobility corridors which connect the waterfront back to the city. The corridors not just become extensions of the marshlands near the shoreline, but also become a new identify of the infrastructure left over spaces.

Strategy three INTEGRATION OF WATERFRONT, INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE COMMUNITIES With the ecological restoration projects in place, this site with its underutilized lands offers an opportunity to create a more adaptable and sustainable waterfront district. Located in excellent proximity to the regional and local transportation amenities such as Bart, Amtrak, and airport, the built environment in the region can be developed more intensively and efficiently. The land uses and built forms can start responding to the coastal ecosystems and landscape corridors.

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5. 3 PROJECT APPROACH To implement a project which ranges from flood management to urban development, the feasibility of the project depends very much on a viable and strategic phasing strategy. The phasing strategy recognizes that the fulfillment of the plan is a comprehensive and long- term processes, where the evolution of urban and natural space is a continuous and dynamic process. The phasing in the design proposal takes in consideration the nature of the various projects, their time lines and integrates it with the existing proposal of the projects in East Oakland such as the a new station for BART and the new BRT line. The primary idea of adaptive strategies for the shoreline is making room for water in the events of tidal surges, flooding and sea level rise. The implementation of these projects are done on existing available public land, impervious surface parking and underutilized land. This enhances the shorelines and stream networks to create a network of landscape corridors. These corridors would create oppurunity of more active open spaces, which immensely lacks in East Oakland and can offer social and recreational activities on the waterfronts such bike trails, connection to the east bay trail, retail opportunities etc.

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To sustain financially the development of ecological corridors and bringing businesses and people near the Bay area, it becomes important to add more number of housing units to this district. Currently, with the city of Oakland already looking at the large vacant plot, 5441 International Boulevard, as a key 24 acre development parcel next to international boulevard, the thesis takes it as one of the starting point in revitalization of the San Leandro Waterfront District. The design illustrates, later in the chapter, that the parcel itself can be designed to house almost 2400 housing units. The Master plan proposes an ambitious long term vision for the study area, which introduces a new identity for the ecology and built environment to co-exist physically and financially.


Fig. 5.5. A masterplan vision for the San Leandro waterfront at end ot the centruy

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Phase 1 - The horizontal levee is designed along the I-880 freeway, starting the process of inland migration of the baylands.

- Development of the 5441, International Boulevard parcel, formerly a brown-field site, is proposed as a multi family compact housing development with retail along International Boulevard and San Leandro Bay is proposed.

Fig. 5.6. Phase 1 proposal= Design of horzontal levee and development in the 5441 parcel


Phase 2 - The streams leading to become the East Creek Slough are widened to accommodate larger water capacity in case of floods and tidal surges. The constructed streams are daylighted. - Managed ponds are introduced along the

stream systems.

Fig. 5.7. Phase 2 proposal= Constructed streams and managed ponds, Infill BART station


Phase 3 - The vacant parcels and underutilized parcels are proposed to have mixed use developments around the BART station. -The design proposes an alignment for a continuous trail around the creek, and

Fig. 5.7. Phase 3 proposal- Development around the BART station

investigates possible adjacent land uses that fit within the area’s ‘Production Distribution Repair’ zoning and benefit the surrounding communities.


Phase 4 - With the increase of sea level rises, an additional layer of levee system is proposed along the power lines. - The I-880 being at the most risk of sea level rise, the design proposes that within the FEMA

flood risk zone, the freeway is proposed to be a causeway.

Fig. 5.8. Phase4 proposal- New Levee system and I-880 as a new causeway


Phase 5 - Planned retreat of the properties till the second levee, which enables the water system to migrate further inland. It allows transformation of this area into an ecological system of marsh lands, managed ponds, which makes the

waterfront more adaptable to natural storms, sea level rise and also brings a new identity to the waterfront.

Fig. 59 Phase 4 proposal- PLanned retreat in the defined zone for larger water catchments


Phase 6 - The last phase of the project sees the development across the transportation corridors as a new district of residential, mixed use, live work spaces, PDR spaces and small businesses. This also would form a catalyst for

densifying around the waterfront district.

Fig. 5.10. Phase 6 proposal- Development along the transportation corridors


5. 4. ADAPTATION STRATEGIES 5.4.1 INCREMENTAL SEA LEVEL RISE Being a low- lying historic marshland, the areas around San Leandro Bay including Oakland International Airport and major transportation infrastructures such as I-880 and the UPRR are under major risk because of rising sea levels. Within the thesis project site, even a two feet rise is going to flood most of northern part of San Leandro bay till the San Leandro Street between High Street to the north and Hegenberger street to the south. Also, in this case, some of the major watersheds of East Bay drains directly into the San Leandro Bay. Therefore, along with the rising levels of water, the combination of upland drainage combined with the frequent tidal surges are going to result in frequent water logging, flooding and disruption in the everyday transportation networks and affecting the communities living and working in the area. Adapting to sea level rise incrementally As narrated in the introduction chapter, adaptation strategies for the rising sea levels are urgent and essential. The thesis explores possible adaptive strategies for the waterfront edge. Although there are varied levels projected by different climatic models, one doesn’t know the intensity of change in water level. So how to

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plan for the uncertain future? The thesis takes a stand that since SLR would be a gradual process, there are two scenarios which the thesis explores- one during mid-century, where 2 feet SLR is projected and end of the century, where several climate change studies foresee 6 feet SLR. Existing scenario The figure 5.11 illustrates the site components in terms of the layers of infrastructure barriers which exist on site: the at grade I-880, the strip of power lines which are next to colisuem way, the Union pacific railroad lines and the at grade freight line and elevated BART line next to San Leandro street. The diagram also illustrates the extend of existing tidal lands and the open streams of East creek slough to the northern part of the site, where as Lion creek closer to the Coliseum. The red line is the Bay lands boundary assigned by the Bay Conservation Development corporation (BCDC) in their bay land report. The area between baylands boundary and the Bay area is seen as an urgent area of intervention in the BCDC report for mitigating the effects of sea level rise.


EXISTING

I-880

Power lines

UPRR

BART

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I-880

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Levee 2

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San leandro bay Fig.5.11 The siteSan showsLeandro the transportation the extend of the tidal flats and the bay land boundary ExistingBay infrastructure, and Infrastructure layout

in plan(top) and

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Mid-century scenario Figure5.13 illustrates the proposal for incremental sea level rise by 2050. The objective is to allow for adaptation of shorelines and inlands from a projected sea level rise and the tidal surges. The thesis explores a possibility of horizontal levee along I-880 which can flank along the San Leandro Bay shoreline. As the shoreline shifts because of the bay-level rise, the scenario explores the extension of the Damon marsh up to the freeway, where the underutilized land parcels can be given away for the development of wetlands. The horizontal levee concept is being explored by the Bay Institute, an

environmental group, for San Francisco Bay that blends a traditional earthen levee with restored tidal marshes. The mashes would be built up with sediment from local flood control channels. Marsh vegetation would be irrigated with reclaimed waste water. Tidal marshes can slow down storm surges, meaning levees fronted by marshes can be built half as tall, and at half the costs, as traditional levees made of earth and clay. Planed with fast growingplants such as the mildly seawater-tolerant alkali bulrush and tule, the brackish marsh would show down a storm surge, absorbing it like a sponge. This dense vegetation, home to birds can reach 8 feet in height. The tidal

Fig. 5.12 An illustration of horizontal levee showing the hierarchy of ecosystems ( Source: The Bay Institute)

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MID CENTURY

I-880

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Fig. 5.12 The mid century scenario illustrates the location of the horizontal levee along the I-880 with the extend of the horizontal levee.

SCENARIO 1- Mid century HORIZONTAL LEVEE NEXT TO THE I-880

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SC SE


marsh restoration can be used as an effective flood protection method that is far more costs effective than traditional approaches to levee building. The concept can be adapted regionally as a key element in a cost-effective, multi-benefit shoreline management strategy. End of century Although the possibilities of storm surges in the San Francisco Bay are minimal over the century, but certain climate studies do mention the frequency of the surges might increase in case of uncontrolled carbon emissions. Imagining a scenario almost eight decades from now is difficult and building infrastructure for the

foreseeable scenario might not be feasible. Although it’s confirmed worldwide, that climate change is affecting major urban centers, and we need to prepare for a similar situation in Bay area. Hence, a redundant system of levees are proposed . That is, a secondary system of flood protection infrastructure can be built along the shoreline to protect the inland. The placement of the secondary levee can be constructed in the buffer spaces along the power lines. In the scenario of the sea level rise happening faster than expectations, the combination of the horizontal levee with the levee along the power line can offer extra flood protection. The freeway in this scenario can start be raised up as an causeway, and

Fig. 5.14 An illustration of extend of marshlands which acts as a new open space amenity ( Source: Visualization by the SF Estuary Institute)

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I-880

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I-880

END OF CENTURY Raised I-880

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I-880 AS A CAUSEWAY

Fig.5.15 The end of2-century illustrates the location of the secondary set of levee along the unused land strips along the SCENARIO End scenario of century power line next to Coliseum way. The particular stretch of the freeway shown in the diagram acts a causeway

SECOND LEVEE UNDER THE POWER LINES

the marshlands can be allowed to continue growing underneath.

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5.4.2. STREAMS RESTORATION Straightening and channelization of creeks have impacted the hydrology dramatically. The sediment used to support the marsh land is disturbed and the rainfall peak flow increases sharply in speed and volume due to increase of impermeable area. Establishment of an adaptable water system becomes important in case of a changes in the water levels in the San Leandro Bay. Figure 5.18 illustrates the existing storm-water network in the study area. The red ones are the piped systems, and only after the UPRR lines, the streams open up to meet the bay. Figure 5.22 illustrates bringing buried pipes to the surface and restoring natural streams in their place. Naturalised streams offer multiple benefits over pipes, including restored habitats, enhanced stormwater management, and a natural asset for the community to enjoy. The planning of the new developments and streetscapes can be integrated with the stream system. Daylighting these streams would have various benefits such as:

Fig. 5.16 The stream network and watersheds draining to the San Leandro bay

Reducing Flooding and tidal surges Many streams and rivers in cities have been forced to go underground in an attempt to remove stormwater as quickly as possible from the urban Fig. 5.17 Existing East Creek Slough

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st Ea

g lou S eek r C

h

Fig. 5.18 The existing network of channelized stream system- red ones are open, whereas the red ones are the piped ones.

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environment. This, however, often results in a flash flood during heavy rains as the underground systems become overloaded. By daylighting, the course of water can be retained, slowed down, and diverted, while at the same time reducing the risk of blockages at choke points. Ecological corridors Daylighting the streams has the potential to unlock natural ecology- Areas which were once hardened and lifeless can be transformed by unveiling the water beneath and re-introducing vegetation to create a green urban corridor Provide Recreational Space It has the potential to create new forms of urban recreational spaces which can range from a bike trails and running routes to interactive spaces for children to connect with nature. The design also illustrates of how it can completely transform an urban area from a dead hardened surface into a dynamic urban space. The result is an active public space where users connect with water, bringing life back into that part of the city. Reduce Urban Heat Island Effect The Urban Heat Island Effect is the condition where extreme temperatures occur in the city due to radiation from hardened surfaces. Daylighting streams in cities would help to dramatically moderate temperatures.

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Economic Benefits While initial construction costs to remove hard encasements may be quite high, the future savings and economic benefits will far outweigh these costs. It is not only far cheaper to maintain natural compared to repairing culverts and channels, but, also, the urban regeneration along the water’s edge can provide dramatic economic benefits. The design also proposes a series of managed ponds which are strategically located to create a local system of water catchment as a strategy of flood management. These becomes additional catchment for water during floods, storm surges and tidal surges. (Figure 5.28) Some of the designed open spaces such as an urban plaza , sunken playgrounds or dry landscaping can double up as an water catchment space also.


Fig. 5.21 The new stream network

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Fig. 5.22 Integration of green infrastructure along streets

Fig. 5.23 Sections through the streams through the housing developments

Fig. 5.24 Retention ponds next to the stream, with overflow from the stream to the retention ponds.

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Fig. 5.25 A design showing how neutral grounds can store stormwater in the Gentilly neighborhood (The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan) Image source: The Atlantic

Fig. 5.26 Alternate ways of integrating water systems and streets-capes.

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The managed ponds will be dry most of the times and are in use as a recreational and landscaping space. A concept similar to what has been illustrated in Rotterdam Water Plan, These managed ponds combines water storage with the improvement of the quality of urban public space. The rainwater will be held in the square

until the water system in the city has enough capacity again. Then the water can run off to the nearest open water. The water square is therefore also a measure to improve the quality of the open water in urban environments. After it has been in use as buffering space, the water square is cleaned.

Fig. 5.27 A future water plaza in Rotterdam, in regular days and in rainy times. Source: Rotterdam Climate proof, http://www.urbanisten.nl/

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Fig. 5.28 The system of managed ponds along the streams

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Floating building typology

Horizontal Levee alignment along the freeway

Bay trail Second multipurpose levee along the power lines.

Managed ponds

Fig. 5.30 The new shoreline ecological systems

Tidal lands

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Freeway as causeway

Managed ponds under the freeway


Levee 1

Tidal surge barrier

Baylands

Second Levee

Fig. 5.31 The proposed water management system

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5.4.4. ADAPTATION AT MULTIPLE SCALES We need to design for multiple scales for rising sea level. The resiliency needs to be integrated into our ecology, infrastructure and communities. The climate change might be not as expected or in other cases, it might get worse than we imagine. We need to prepared from the way we design our water systems for a building block to our the system works for the entire city. The thesis explores how sea level rise infrastructure and flood mechanisms can be utilized when there is say, no water, which is the case in California.

Fig. 5.32 Adapation strategies at multiple levels

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Policy 1 : For the building under the flood zones, Building regulations such as dry flood proofing, elevated building, floating building typologies can be explored. Policy 2: The public realm needs to start responding in terms of introduction of green infrastructure and a network of flood able parks and water retention ponds. Policy 3: The sea level rise infrastructure such as horizontal levee, shorelines and revetment can be seen as need addition to the open space strategy, where these become the new faces of promenades, trails, open spaces, sports fields.


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5.4.5.LAND USE AND PARCELIZATION The policies for land use emphasize strengthening the district’s economic and residential role within the region. Envisioned for the area is a mix of uses which builds on the amenities of the waterfront and provides a strong connection with transit. The framework hopes to transform the existing site towards a more compact and diverse waterfront district. The district is parcelized further into smaller lots for the diverse development and making the waterfront district more walkable. Specific policies are as represented below: Policy one: Maintain the existing land uses around Coliseum way as a hub of job creation of the light industrial district. However, with the manufacturing industries moving out of the location, small businesses in the form of more ‘Production Distribution and Repair’ and ‘live work’ spaces are provided, to cater to the existing skills of the workforce and also to improve the vitality of the employment district. Policy two: Higher density developments are proposed around the BART station, where there can be mixed use developments. It also help catalyze the development along San Leandro street.

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Policy three: On the north east side of the BART station, the land uses are more residential catering with retail on the International Boulevard edge and BART station. Policy four: Reinforce retail, dining, entertainment and community commercial uses along the San Leandro street, International Boulevard and Coliseum way, and extend these uses into surrounding neighborhood to create a continuous activity network. Policy five: Relocate the surface parking into parking structure around BART station between San Leandro street and the rail, and redevelop the site as mix-type residential neighborhoods.


Fig. 5.33 Proposed land use

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5.4.4. ACCESSIBILITY As it transforms from a predominately industrial district into a regional destination of mixed use, the San Leandro Bay waterfront is experiencing problems of a fragmented street network that is interrupted by the freeway and rail lines. Discontinuous bike lanes and pedestrian paths also restrict the access to the waterfront. The following policies provide for the improvement of access and circulation by re knitting the urban texture at both at regional and local scale. Policy one: Introduce additional street next to freight line and UPRR line from 50th Avenue to Seminary Avenue. This would also cater to the proposed BART station. Policy two: Introduce additional streets next to the 5441 parcel, which connects the International Boulevard with the proposed BART station street. Policy three: Extend and improve the streets within the site to create an integral system of open space, local access and overall pedestrian circulation. Policy four: The old unused freight lines in the industrial areas can be transformed into green infrastructure and provide a better walking experience. Fig. 5.34 Existing block structure

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Fig. 5.35 Proposed streets

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5.4.5 OPEN SPACE SYSTEM Open space policies are intended to establish the area of waterfronts as the major habitat for wildlife and recreational destination in the city. The plan recommends a hierarchy of open spaces, which also guides the people to the waterfront. These spaces would provide a variety of recreational experiences. These spaces are intended to be connected to each other and to a larger city wide system of trails and parks. In case of flooding and tidal surges, some of these also behave as managed ponds. Policy one: Protect and enhance the waterfront and create a new wetland park for Oakland on the waterfront edge to accommodate wild habitat and recreational field. Policy two: Establish a continuous system of shoreline park which extends as nature trails and bike trails along the stream systems. Policy three: The housing and industrial parcels have their individual open spaces for each block, with the open spaces also functioning as rainwater collector, which drains to the nearest streams.

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Fig. 5.3 6 Proposed open space system

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5.4.5 TRANSIT AND TRAILS For a successful waterfront district, transit would play an increasingly important role in brining people to the waterfront and providing convenient circulation within the district. Specific policies are represented as below: Policy one: The new proposed Infill BART station on San Leandro Bay is placed between 54th and 57th Avenue on San Leandro Bay. Proposed new streets and an elevated land bridge from the station would give better access to the waterfront.

Policy three: Extend the east bay trail inlands along the stream network and connect it to the transit stops. Policy four: A new elevated land bridge is proposed from the BART station, giving a defined access to the wetland park and shoreline.

Policy two: The proposed BRT stop on 54th avenue is integrated into the design proposal, with a new street connecting it to the BART station.

Fig. 5.37 Proposed elevated walkway in the wetlands. (Image source: Environmental Science Associates, San Francisco)

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Fig. 5.38 Proposed transit stops and bike trails

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5.5. DESIGN DETAILS 5.5.1 5441 HOUSING DISTRICT The design of the housing units responds to the idea that adaptation to the rising waters need to happen at multiple scales. The building guidelines in this case, start responding to the streams and eventually the ecological corridors. The streams define a clear axis of the development, with the BART station at the end of the axis.

Fig. 5.39 5441 Housing district

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There are a combination of multi family housing to town houses are proposed, with a density of 80 du/acre. The entire parcels now would provide about 1900 new units. The ground level has mostly retail and community spaces with room for green infrastructure and open spaces for the communities.


Fig. 5.40 5441 Housing district in plan

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Fig. 5.41 Section through the housing

Fig. 5.42 Block typology

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Fig. 5.43 Water management at block level

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Fig. 5.44 Housing units around the streams with the BART seen in the background.

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5.5.2. MELROSE BART DISTRICT

barrier.

The design proposal illustrates development around the proposed BART station. Being an area bringing the residential and light industrial districts, the design of these blocks are mostly mixed use with retail and live work spaces on the ground floor with residential units above.

Recognizing the existing transportation barriers, the street design tries to make pedestrian friendly traffic using traffic calming strategies which reduces the physical barriers due to transportation corridors.

The tower typologies were introduced to define a tower typology which bring a sense of identity to this place among the transportation corridors

Fig. 5.45 Mixed use and commercial units around the BART station

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Fig. 5.45 Mixed use and commercial units around the BART station

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Fig. 5.46 The existing San Leandro street with the proposed street (above)

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Fig. 5.47 Building typology for blocks around BART station

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Fig. 5.476 Section through the commercial buildings

Fig. 5.476 Section through the mixed use and commercial buildings

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5.6 CONCLUSION The shoreline of the east bay which has historically transformed from an extensive tidal land to a major transportation corridor, how do we get from now, to resilient? Adaptation is not an overnight process, and fortunately for San Francisco Bay area, there is enough time to start adapting. Though seas have not risen significantly to date, we know they will, and it will take some time to design, permit, fund, and construct the larger infrastructure needed to manage future high water. After identifying goals and objectives that move the region toward the future it wants, identifying the steps necessary to get us there will be critical. The design process of adaptation planning itself will require engaging many stakeholders to develop buy-in and minimize resistance toward progress. It provides an opportunity to bring together diverse interests and stakeholders around a common challenge, develop a common vision, and come up with solutions that work for most of us. Building resilience in San Francisco Bay area is not just about the flood hazard or about the direct economic damages; it is about maintaining San Francisco’s competitive edge as a global financial center, and preserving one of the world’s finest places to live.


Profile for Sonali Praharaj

Graduate Thesis- Adaptation to sea level rise along transportation corridors, San Leandro Bay  

Graduate Thesis- Adaptation to sea level rise along transportation corridors, San Leandro Bay  

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