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Rather than wait for a natural disaster, the San Francisco Bay Area is proactively reimagining a better future by creating a blueprint for resilience that harnesses Bay Area innovation and serves as a model for communities around the world.


In May of 2017, community members spanning all 9 Bay Area counties and 10 Design Teams made up of local and international architects, engineers, ecologists and other experts, embarked on a yearlong Challenge to address the looming threat of climate change in the Bay Area. 

By stepping outside traditional approaches, we started by asking two questions:

1) Could we come up with innovative solutions to sea level rise and resilience related issues

2) Could we be proactive in this approach to protect our communities before a disaster strikes? 

10 locations around the region have been selected in communities facing immediate needs and threatened by the impacts of climate change around the Bay. 

GROUNDED IN COMMUNITY

Building on this foundation of support with local organizers and activists, the Bay Area Challenge aims to proactively reimagine a safer future, by drafting a blueprint for environmental resilience that harnesses the Bay Area’s history of taking on the difficult challenges and putting social equity in the center of the decision-making processes. 

CREATIVITY IS KEY

Varying in scope and scale, early design ideas imagined in the Collaborative Research Phase now serve as a springboard for the Collaborative Design Phase. At each site selected, these ideas will be driven by local communities and will hone in on addressing ongoing climate issues facing the Bay Area, like sea level rise, severe flooding, and seismic risks, alongside other, sometimes more pressing challenges, including lack of housing, displacement, gentrification, limited access to public land and outdated transportation. 

VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE DISASTER

It’s no secret — climate change is real, and the threats to the Bay Area must be addressed. Sea level rise affects all of us — not just our communities who have lived by our shoreline for decades and are most vulnerable — but also our roads and airports that support each of our nine counties and 163 cities, the major companies that serve as the backbone of our economy, and services like water treatment and more. 

There’s no time to wait — it’s time to come together and begin imagining a new future for all of us.