A HASSELL-led design team that includes MVRDV has unveiled their preliminary proposed design strategy for tackling climate change in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the yearlong Resilient by Design research challenge. The design team collected research by collaborating with local residents, design firms, experts, and public officials. Their findings identify existing areas of weakness in South San Francisco and potential design solutions for San Mateo County. The team will further develop the proposed strategy, and they plan to present it in May.



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Modeled after the successful Rebuild by Design challenge, Resilient by Design asked designers around the world to develop community-based solutions that would protect the San Francisco Bay Area from sea level rise, severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes. Ten winning design teams were selected to embark on the yearlong research and design challenge, among them the HASSELL-led team that includes MVRDV, Deltares, Goudappel, Lotus Water, Civic Edge, Idyllist, Hatch, and Page & Turnbull.

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Climate change is real, by the end of the century there will be a sea level rise of 2 meters. Bay Area communities respond to this challenge in a multi-disciplinary approach to upgrade their general resilience,” said Nathalie de Vries, MVRDV co-founder. “We developed a flexible toolbox for San Mateo which helps the local community by revitalising public spaces that collect and connect people and water.”

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Related: Resilient infrastructure proposal aims to protect San Francisco Bay from rising sea levels

Their recently released renderings and diagrams offer proposals for reconnecting San Francisco communities to the waterfront and for protecting the land from climate challenges. The team drew on historic precedent, such as responses to the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and observations of the recent Northern California wildfires.

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“The team now has the opportunity to apply its ‘collect and connect’ toolkit to proposed sites in South San Francisco,” wrote the design team, referring to the way streets and creeks are rethought of as connectors from a water management standpoint, while adaptive open spaces serve as collectors for everyday gathering, big events, and disaster assembly. “At Colma Creek, HASSELL has imagined a new Shoreline Park. Meanwhile, Grand Avenue will become a vital community hub with a drop-in storefront people can visit during the design phase. The team’s design process will draw heavily on local voices and insights to ensure that design solutions – which will be presented in May – reflect the community’s needs. In addition to the drop-in centre, city residents will be able to access a digital platform to learn about adapting for resilience and get involved in decision making.”

+ HASSELL

+ MVRDV

Images via MVRDV