The questions below have come up at at our events or were directly emailed to us. This is the most up to date information we have at the moment and we are providing this to assist potential teams in planning.  We will be adding to this list in the coming weeks, please email questions to 

(last updated June 30th)

Can my team differentiate core members from those who might act as a consultant?

A team can differentiate core team members and potential consultants. Teams can describe the type of specialists or consultants they would be interested to engage as the design opportunities are identified and when they are matched to a specific site in the Bay Area.


Are there opportunities beyond joining a team that I can consider to contribute to the Challenge?

There is an opportunity for anyone with knowledge of vulnerable areas around the Bay to bring them to our attention through the open call for site ideas. This is particularly relevant for those who have worked along the Bayfront and are aware of sites with stalled processes or a lack of attention. The call for sites ended July 31st and will inform planning the research phase. Please email with any additional site ideas.


In the design phase, why do “design concepts need to comply with applicable policies, laws, and regulations, unless applicants propose and justify variances or modifications incorporated into the design solutions?”

Teams should be aware of the Challenge goal to create ten feasible and implementable projects that will be grounded in reality, while also pushing the envelope on what regulations may need to be modified in order to truly address the effects of climate change around the Bay.


How will matching sites to the design teams work?

Matching happens at the end of the research phase, after the shared learning process of the research briefings and tours. At the end of the research phase, Design Teams will present 3-5 design opportunities that they are interested in working on during the design phase. After a period of public input, the Research Advisory Committee will evaluate the design opportunities, prioritizing sites with the greatest potential for impact and that best utilize the team’s expertise -- all while creating a group of 10 projects that are geographically dispersed around all nine Bay Area counties. Each team will be matched to one site to develop in the design phase.


What will the Jury be looking for in selecting the 10 teams and will the makeup of teams be a factor in this? How much emphasis will be placed on evidence of already completed projects that address resilience concerns?

The jury will look at the makeup of the teams, their experience and their articulated approach. Proposals will evaluated for the creativity, relevance, and strength communicated in the conceptual approach and the jury will balance past experience with the creative potential of the proposed approach.


Will it be necessary to have someone on the team that can craft a full public financing proposal and what resources will be provided for this purpose?

Resilient by Design will be separately contracting with public finance experts to provide a briefing for all teams on financing opportunities, and also help teams craft a financing strategy in their implementation plans. Teams may want to bring their own public financing expertise as well.


If the lead member of a Design Team needs to be a designer, are engineers considered a designer? What are the lead member's requirements and responsibilities, such as financial or contractual obligations, on a design team?

Yes, engineers can be the lead member of a team as long as they self-identify as a designer.  

The lead member will designate the team’s primary contact for Resilient by Design. They will be asked to sign the design team's agreement before the Challenge begins in September, and will receive and distribute its team member payments at the completion of the research and design phase.


Should teams build out their members as a way to prepare for any kind of project or site typology?

Teams should build out their members in support of their proposed approach, which they can refine and hone throughout the research phase. Team members’ experience and expertise should help to build a case to support the team’s conceptual approach, not necessarily to address all types of projects. If a team feels there is a gap of the skill-sets needed as they refine their design focus at any point they may add new team members. All additions must be requested in writing and are subject to approval by Resilient by Design.


How will community engagement be authentic in the Challenge phases? Are you providing resources to the community?

Resilient by Design staff will partner with community organizations in both the research and design phases. In the research phase, community organizations will help plan and participate in events and tours, and in the design phase, community members will work closely along with design teams to develop a design with strong community support. Community organizations will have the opportunity to receive funding to participate in each of these phases.


Could you describe how the 10 teams will be interacting? Will we be sharing information or how will we be working together?

During the Collaborative Research Phase, teams will participate in a shared learning process through tours, workshops and events. Teams will also develop and answer research questions related to their proposed approach, that will be shared with the group. During the Collaborative Research and the Collaborative Design Phase, teams will review their designs with the other teams in the form of critiques.


What are the formatting and other requirements for the team submissions?

Proposals should be submitted as a pdf with no more than 15 pages and using 11pt or larger font.  Any extra pages beyond the requirements described in the RFQ may be used for the cover, added to any section that makes sense, or they don't have to be used. The video should be 3-5 minutes long and should be uploaded to youtube or vimeo and marked as unlisted (so it is public but not searchable).


Will all teams be required to use the same sea level rise standard or should we address our sea level rise standard within our conceptual approach?

Because we do not have one, dedicated funding source for project implementation, Resilient by Design will not have a specific sea level rise standard to design to. We will be providing the latest available data and maps related to how sea level rise will affect the shoreline around San Francisco Bay as well as maps related to the various types of flooding that affect Bay communities, and we will expect to see design solutions that address these risks.


Can one firm or one individual be on multiple teams? Are there any restrictions more generally for a collaboration of teams?

One individual cannot apply to be on multiple teams. Individuals from the same firm can serve on different teams, with the establishment of a firewall. This is due to the need to accurately reflect the strength of the teams’ composition for the jury evaluation of proposals. It would be difficult to assess a team's ability to execute their conceptual approach if there is uncertainty about who will be represented on the final team.


Is it required to have completed teams finalized by the RFQ submission deadline?

The makeup of the Design Team is a key component of the selection process and should be developed carefully while preparing the response to the RFQ. If during the Research or Design Phase, a team may identify a new member to add, that can be done with approval from Resilient by Design.


Are Design Teams able to choose which sites they are matched with?

Design Teams will respond to the RFQ outlining their approach to resilience, but not specific site locations. After participation in the Collaborative Research Phase, the Design Teams will propose 3-5 design opportunities they feel like they are best qualified to address, and will be matched with a specific design opportunity to address in the Collaborative Design Phase.


What technical expertise will be provided to teams throughout the challenge?

We are currently putting together a Research Advisory Committee made up of diverse array of experts in economic vulnerability, housing, transportation systems, marine science, etc. Teams will be provided an initial briefing including data layers surrounding expected flood patterns, the typology of the shoreline, and resident demographics. Teams will also be given access to existing planning documents and have face time will government localities. During the Research Phase, Design Teams will have access to public finance consultants who will provide a briefing to teams about potential funding strategies. In the Design Phase, they will work with the teams individually to develop a financing strategy for each design. Moreover, public engagement consultants will be available to help teams to develop and implement community engagement strategies.


 What date will the ten teams be selected?

Our goal is to have the ten teams selected by early August in order to have about a month before the Collaborative Research Phase begins.


Does everyone from the Design Team have to be local?

At least one member of the Design Team must reside in the Bay Area.


Will teams receive funding to participate?

Design Teams will receive $100,000 over two installments during the Collaborative Research Phase ($50,000 at the signing of the Design Team Agreement and the remaining $50,000 upon successful completion of this phase).  Additionally and upon successful completion of the Collaborative Design Phase, teams will receive $150,000.


Can a city agency or government employee, or an university representative be on a team?

Local city officials and employees cannot participate on a Design Team, but will be active participants in the process. The can submit ideas for sites, and meet with teams to share the challenges and constraints they are facing and ideas and inspiration they have. Academic institutions are encouraged to submit site ideas and participate on teams as well.


Will the Research Advisory Committee be available to Design Teams for consulting throughout the process?

Throughout the Collaborative Design Phase, Design Teams will have access to the Research Advisory Committee as well as elected officials, community members, and other resources such as climate models, data, etc. However, Committee members should not be considered substitutes for expertise on your team, as their ability to advise individual teams will be limited.


How are Design Teams selected?

An international jury will select the Design Teams to participate in the Challenge. The selection will be based on the team’s experience and on their approach as described in the response to the RFQ.


Are there opportunities or stages in which local community members can get involved or help shape the process and outcome?

Local community members are key partners in this effort, and will be involved in suggesting sites for review in the Collaborative Research Phase, designing and participating tours and events in that phase, and working closely with Design Teams once the final design opportunities are chosen.


Will any teams be cut after research advisory stage?

Teams will only get cut after the Collaborative Research Phase if they do not meet the expectations of the Challenge.


Are there minimum Qualifications required design team members?

We expect teams will have a variety of experience levels, and the jury will look to the thoroughness and creativity of the RFQ response in selecting teams. Please refer to the RFQ in the Design Brief.


Can open coast of the Bay Area sites be part of this Challenge?

This Challenge does not cover the open coast.  The Challenge’s area of focus is defined as inside of the Golden Gate, including the bayshore in all nine counties from the South Bay to the San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, and the Suisun Bay.


Can teams from Rebuild by Design participate in Resilient by Design?

Any team can apply to this Challenge, with a minimum of one local firm.


Is there a portion of the funding that has been earmarked for the implementation of winning designs?

Resilient by Design does not have dedicated funding for implementation of winning designs. Staff will work closely with Design Teams, local governments and community members to build support, momentum and a viable funding plan for each design.


Can resilient by design help me to find a design team to join?

We invite prospective team members to join our LinkedIn group, "Resilient by Design Challenge: find your teammates." It is a venue to spark a discussion among like-minded professionals.