Engagement by Team
all Bay CollectivE
The All Bay Collective focused on fostering a sense of connectivity and identity around San Leandro Bay (part of the Oakland Estuary). Their strategy started with existing expertise in collaborative game development (AECOM + CMG’s Game of Floods and Janette Kim/CCA’s sea level rise games for BCDC, et. al.). These tools allowed ABC to encourage collaboration among stakeholders and create an iterative process, crafting tools together throughout the Collaborative Design Phase. The team held multiple Project Working Group meetings with stakeholders and hosted a Game Night at the Coliseum BART station to raise awareness about sea level rise and groundwater risk around the Estuary.
In the Design Phase, the Bionic Team wanted to understand the details of life in San Rafael, and the everyday issues that matter for people, their families and businesses now. The Team also wanted to reach a deeper level of conversation with the people that live there about the threat of flooding and sea level rise. From these interactions, it was clear that people share the desire for essentials that allow them to thrive - safety, secure housing, a livelihood, equal access to resources, a community to rely on – and that the community’s social network is complex, interwoven, and highly resilient.
The tools the team developed helped make flooding relatable, understandable, and provoke deeper questions and answers, and transcend educational, language, and age barriers to engaging the San Rafael community. For this team, the agency of design in all forms creates access to the information necessary to elevate the dialogue and the process.
Big + One + Sherwood
After multiple rounds of one-to-one meetings with local and regional stakeholders, which included community organizations and local property owners, and City Agencies such as SF Port and SFPUC with assets at risk, the BIG+ONE+Sherwood team gathered important insights and information to structure a meaningful community engagement process. The goal was to provide the most adequate tools and activities to the community in order to allow them to express how they could directly benefit from achieving both a long-term vision and near-term pilots.
The team structured their public engagement process in two rounds of activities: one at the end of March and one at the end of April. The goal of the first round of activities was to co-create a shared vision for the Islais Creek Watershed and discuss in depth local issues and priorities. This round of activities included a youth event, and two public workshops in Bayview and Dogpatch. The goal of the second round of activities was to discuss in a more intimate setting ideas for pilots and how these could kick-start a long-term vision. This round of activities included a second youth event and three community sessions with a selected group of stakeholders and leaders, focused around three topics: (1) Parks & Open Space, (2) Environmental Justice, Infrastructure & Health, and (3) Affordability, Economics & Workforce Development.
Throughout the Design Phase, Common Ground developed diverse methods for community feedback and engagement to get a sense of how residents and commuters who traverse the San Pablo Baylands at the northern end of San Francisco Bay perceive and interact with this region. The team developed an online survey and solicited input at local farmers markets, the annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, and several Bay Area learning institutions. The team also worked with local middle schools to model sediment capture in the baylands, developed a map to orient people visiting the baylands and, in collaboration with the San Francisco Bay Trail, hosted a Baylands Discovery Walk to learn more about public access and recreation. These tools directly influenced the team’s final design concepts and shed light on the San Pablo Baylands as a forgotten resource in need of resilient activation.
Field Operations Team
The Field Operations Team’s approach to outreach and engagement in the South Bay was in many ways, ‘Come one, come all!” They set out to listen to, learn from, and collaborate with any and all agencies working on projects related to sea-level rise or to bayfront planning in general, as well as any and all residents that they could welcome into their process.
They framed their conversations around the concept of a “sponge” to help people visualize natural systems as flood protection and climate mitigation and created a mobile hub of information, dubbed the “Sponge Hub.” The Sponge Hub helped convey the specific relevance of sea level rise with local communities at Farmers Markets, churches, high school sport events, park and Bay Trail locations. In addition to the mobile “Sponge Hub” activities, the team organized and participated in several participatory public events. Their largest public event was a public meeting for the East Palo Alto Community, held at Cooley Landing.
Each community workshop and meeting was designed to be highly “active”. Using a variety of interactive techniques, the team inspired participants to imagine, investigate, construct, and reflect; by touching, moving, writing and playing. Through visceral interactions with physical models, sketch stations and voting games the team enabled participants to quickly communicate and test their visual and spatial ideas and build off each other to generate ideas and solutions for and by their communities.
As part of their commitment to working with the South San Francisco community, the Resilient South City team transformed a formerly-vacant storefront on Grand Avenue into a community meeting place open to residents and community groups to learn about the project, share personal stories, and provide feedback and ideas about what will make a resilient South City. The team also developed postcards and native plant playing cards to share out information on watershed resilience and attract people to the shopfront. The team utilized space activation to fully engage with South City residents on strengthening South San Francisco’s resilience to sea level rise and climate change.
the Home Team
The Home Team’s engagement approach revolved around convening a community advisory board with a stipend to co-create a design process and develop a series of projects that were relevant to community needs. Through an open call for applications and additional recruitment assistance from Juliana Gonzalez from the Watershed Project and Robert Rogers with County Supervisor John Gioia’s office, the North Richmond Community Advisory Board was formed. A series of meetings with the CAB applied resident knowledge and stakeholder priorities towards developing a common vision. Local testing of the Streetwyze app helped spatially locate neighborhood assets and challenges, tying back to design goals and development. The resulting final design concepts were developed with the CAB and emphasize building the community capacity to adapt to climate change by linking local health and wealth building to infrastructure investments.
Rather than a site specific, element and component-based design, the Permaculture and Social Equity Team (P+SET) proposed an unconventional approach - a social design process to build community capacity and ecoliteracy to address the challenges of coastal adaptation and resilience planning, especially in vulnerable communities that have experienced generations of marginalization and exclusion.
In a three-month period, the team in collaboration with Shore Up Marin successfully piloted this capacity building program in Marin City, resulting in an inspiring People’s Plan to authentically reflect the aspirations and intentions of the resident community of place. An intergenerational cohort expanded existing knowledge for assessing and addressing risks, developing near and long-term strategies with a prioritized set of projects to be immediately phased into partial implementation as early as this summer. This project emphasized local knowledge and capacity building as essential to planning for sea level rise and climate change impacts.
Public Sediment did not shy away from the challenge of building a creek constituency within the Alameda Creek watershed, the largest watershed in the Bay Area. Public Sediment implemented a wide and diverse stakeholder engagement strategy to develop Public Sediment for Alameda Creek. Through the development of the Alameda Creek Atlas, public events like the Creek Crawl, workshops with students and tabling at Earth Day events, the team has started to mobilize a constituency around the Creek.While sediment is generally not a high-priority for the general public, there are hundreds of informed and active citizens living in the watershed that are interested in organizing around the creek and interested in the sediment story. The team spent time learning from this community, interviewing residents, and adapting the parameters of sediment design to the expressed needs of people in the watershed – increased connectivity, more social spaces, greater recreational opportunities, and access to the water. The short-term process has built public perception around the value of sediment as a public resource and builds a constituency for the creek. There is significant need to expand this thinking over the long term in the Alameda Creek watershed and a great need to replicate this model in other parts of the Bay.