San Francisco is known for many things, chief among them being a popular tourist destination. Structures and monuments that include the Golden Gate Bridge and the Fisherman’s Warf are just two of the many that are frequented by tourists and natives alike. Then, of course, there are more natural attractions like the rolling hills, the summers and many beaches. It’s not all fun and games in San Francisco though.
The US city has borne witness and been a victim of countless tragedies and natural disasters. The fires and Great 1906 Earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake are perhaps some of the worst. People have reacted to all this though. Each disaster has only been an incentive to push forth new mediums that ensure the safety of lives and property in the event these disasters should break again.
Large International Team Contributes to a Resilient Waterfront of the San Francisco Bay Area
HASSELL is at the forefront of this. Along with 10 international, multi-disciplinary partners that include MVRDV, Lotus Water, Deltares, Goudapel and 6 more, HASSELL has revealed a design strategy that is intended to act as a buffer against harsh and extreme climatic changes in the San Francisco Bay Area. The team has an idea that turns San Francisco waterfront communities into mediums that cater to and satisfy various needs of the people and communities as a whole. For one, these waterfront communities can be more than just public, recreational centers; but also emergency centers.
Everything HASSEL and the other contributors aspire to achieve is part of the Resilient By Design initiative, which is intended to see the birth of better and more efficient means of tackling the adverse effects of extreme climatic conditions. The team drew inspiration from the disasters of prior decades, primarily the 1906 earthquake of San Francisco.
HASSELL expects its design strategy to be flawless, which is why assistance was sought from a number of sources: Competent design firms, public officials, experts and even the locals all contributed in one way or another, either by assisting with the research involved in the strategy or by providing necessary and valuable information where required. Digital platforms have made this easier because it is another faster way for the people to make their voices heard on what facilities and structures they require the most. Feedback is as necessary as it is important.
The research concluded with findings that reveal faults in South San Francisco and possible design solutions for San Mateo County. More than that, the findings also made possible the creation of a network of public spaces that connect people and manage water. This network is intended to connect waterfront communities together and at the same time manage water in such events like floods.
Element Overview for the Resilient San Francisco Bay Area
By creating high streets, broad green spaces and creeks, more channels for the runoff and passage of water are opened, which is necessary, considering the congested nature of all waterfronts’ transport infrastructure. Along the same vein, the waterfront communities can serve as temporary shelters in the aftermath of disasters. Conversely, and during more civil times, these San Francisco waterfronts can double as celebration centers.
There has been a projection that by the year 2100, there will be a 66-inch rise in sea level of the San Francisco Bay area, which altogether makes the community-based solutions developed by HASSEL imperative. Rise in sea level is just one of the many compounding issues waterfront communities face. Tidal waves, severe storms, tsunamis, flooding, and earthquakes all pose great threats to life and property. It is needed to adapt to the impacts of climate change soon enough.
HASSEL has initiated a plan that is targeted towards a single goal: the continuation and sustenance of lives and property. These waterfronts are to be transformed into public places that serve a multitude of purposes, all of them making possible more efficient means of surviving adverse climatic conditions.
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