Finance Advisory Request for Proposals

Posted Date:            August 7, 2017

Proposals Due         August 28, 2017, 5:00 PST

Submission:              Email proposal to

Proposal length:     Up to six pages of proposal narrative plus an appendix for related experience, personnel and budget details and a brief cover letter

RFP questions:        Email with RFP questions.  Responses will be sent within 3 days of question receipt.  If your team desires response to others’ questions, please email indicating your interest in the RFP no later than August 16th.

See below for more information or click here to download the RFP in PDF format.


Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge is a collaborative research and design initiative bringing together community members, public officials and local, national and international experts to develop ten innovative solutions that address the effects of climate change around the Bay. This initiative is based on the award-winning model Rebuild by Design, a bold public-private collaboration that brought innovative solutions to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

In a yearlong challenge, ten teams of architects, engineers, designers and other experts will work alongside Bay Area community members to identify critical areas along the Bayfront and propose exciting, new, community-based solutions that will strengthen the region's resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes.

By taking an imaginative and collaborative approach to resilience, we are protecting shoreline communities and preparing for the local challenges brought on by climate change while also creating a stronger, more resilient Bay Area with solutions that address big issues such as housing, health, transportation and economic disparities. Bay Area Challenge projects will be founded in principals of the resilience dividend[1] and will leverage both mainstream and innovative finance and funding[2] mechanisms.


To realize this opportunity, the Bay Area Challenge has identified the need for finance advisors that are savvy about the funding and finance assets available locally, regionally, at the state level, nationally and globally from government, philanthropic and corporate sources and investors.  Resilient by Design staff and board members seek a counterpart finance advisory team to both pragmatically and creatively guide Design Teams and local stakeholders (e.g. local jurisdictions) with foundational information about project finance and funding for resilient projects, as well as tailored advice for the ten Design team projects. Importantly, the finance advisory must be expert in California and Bay Area finance and funding constraints and opportunities and able to guide local jurisdictions in resilient project finance.

The ultimate goal of the finance advisory team is to help Design Teams understand their financing options and make well-informed project decisions that result in financeable designs that can be implemented over a reasonable timeframe that improve resilience in the Bay area, saving lives and improving livelihoods. Given the diversity of funding and finance pathways possible, Resilient by Design expects that professionals and/or institutions with varied experience will bid as teams. However, Resilient by Design is seeking one point of contact for the finance advisory team.


In June 2017, community members were invited to participate in an open call to suggest local sites that are vulnerable to the threats of climate change. At the same time, Design Teams made up of unique combinations of local and global leaders, architects, engineers, landscape architects, public finance experts, educators and ecologists were invited to apply to participate in Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge’s intensive and collaborative community based research and design challenge. Resilient by Design will select ten qualified and diverse Design Teams to join communities in addressing local challenges, using their knowledge and expertise to strengthen the capacity of local communities and to put solutions into action.

In September 2017, Design Teams will begin exploring the challenges of the Bay under the guidance of Resilient by Design advisors, existing local expertise, and the latest climate models. Design Teams will tour communities and unique potential sites, listen to residents and elected officials and gain a deep understanding of community needs and local challenges. At the end of this phase, Design Teams will present 3-5 initial design concepts for locations throughout the Bay Area, and the most innovative and implementable ideas will move into the design phase.

In December 2017, Design Teams will begin working on these solutions in partnership with residents, businesses, community based organizations and political leaders to develop creative and implementable infrastructure projects that will be judged by an internationally renowned jury. Throughout this phase, Design Teams will be deeply engaged with residents and community groups. To help Design Teams prepare their projects for future successful implementation, Resilient by Design advisors and experts will support teams as they create final conceptual designs and work with teams to build out action and financial plans.

These ten new implementable solutions for the region will be designed to help communities adapt to the future effects of climate change and will provide benefits that address current issues and concerns such as public access to recreation areas, access to housing and protecting vulnerable infrastructure and transportation systems. Project scales will range from neighborhood to multi-county geographies, with implementation timelines over the next decade(s).  


Design Teams, the primary audience for the finance advisory team, are likely to include professionals familiar with large-scale built-environment project implementation, such as engineers, architects, landscape architects, community development experts, as well as academics, scientists, ecologists, artists etc. In addition, Design Teams will collaborate closely with leaders from the project site jurisdictions, and these public sector implementers (e.g. elected officials, public works, planning, sustainability etc.) will also be key stakeholders for the finance advisory team.


Resilient by Design suggests a two-part scope for the finance advisory team to complement the above process. Firstly, during the research phase, the selected finance advisory team will provide all teams with a general finance and funding reference guide and in-person workshop and make themselves available for questions, building their relationships with the Design Teams. The guide will identify a diverse set of funding and finance options, illustrate ways to generate revenue from resilience projects and describe common and anticipated challenges and solutions for funding and financing Resilient by Design projects. The guide will likely be made public on the Resilient by Design website and should be comprehensive, easily digested and applicable to the intent of the Bay Area Challenge. This resource would need to be produced somewhat quickly befitting the accelerated timeline for the entire project.  Secondly, during the design phase, the finance advisory team will meet with key members of each of the ten Design Teams and their jurisdictional counterparts to provide specific project-level funding and finance guidance and, subsequently, to review the projects’ finance plans. The consultant team is encouraged to present additional and alternate approaches to the project scope.

Illustrative funding and finance options include but are not limited to:

  • Special [capital improvement] districts for fees, taxes and bonding authority
  • A jurisdiction’s capital funds
  • State bond funds
  • Federal grants
  • Equity finance through impact investing
  • Public private partnerships, including Proposition 13-related increment finance with legacy property owners
  • Debt finance, including raised debt ceilings for general obligation bonds and green bonds
  • Insurance linked securities such as catastrophe bonds and resilience bonds
  • Government insured and subsidized or funded revolving loan, infrastructure bank and trust fund mechanisms
  • Multi-dimensional projects that leverage different State resources for different project components including affordable housing, active transportation and complete streets, stormwater management, etc.
  • Resilience project revenue generation could include but is not limited to:
  • Utility payments, service fees, taxes and tariffs related to tourism, transportation, water, wastewater and other sectors
  • Cap and trade schemes
  • Collateral from risk reduction, property value increases, density bonuses, natural resource services, etc.
  • Regional funding collaboratives e.g. for watershed and other ecosystem protection


Resilient by Design’s consultant budget for the advisory scope of work is $100,000.


Finance advisory teams may not include members of firms that are part of the selected Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge Design Teams.


Italicized items relate to Bay Area Challenge overall, which can be found in the design brief here.

·       August

  • Bay Area Challenge Design Teams selected
  • 28th - Bay Area Challenge Finance Advisory proposals due

·       September

  • Bay Area Challenge Finance Advisory selected
  • Set up agreement with finance advisory consultant (into September) 
  • Commence three-month collaborative research, (second week of September)

·       October

  • Bay Area Challenge Finance Advisory General Guidelines drafted and related material gathered
  • Bay Area Challenge Finance Guidelines approved by Resilient by Design

·       November

  • An early November Bay Area Challenge Finance Guidelines in-person workshop with guidelines presentation and discussion including all teams. (Design Teams will be finalizing their proposed design opportunities at the culmination of their touring and research phase in anticipation of a 15 November presentation of ideas)
  • Related material posted to
  • Finance Advisory responds to Design team questions via email

·       December

  • Design projects selected (December 9) and matched with Design Teams
  • Commence five-month collaborative design

·       January -March

  • Bay Area Challenge Finance Advisory meets once one-on-one with each Design team and provides follow-up specific advisory information

·       April

  • Bay Area Challenge Finance Advisory reviews individual draft design finance plans and provides comments


In your consultant team proposal, please include:

1.     An up-to two-page description of your proposed approach to the finance advisory project including date ranges and specific deliverables.

2.     An up-to two-page description of your prior experience related to this project.  Including weblinks is fine, but please be explicit about the nature of the past work as it relates to this project.

a. In your appendix, you are welcome to include additional detail about your related experience.

3.     A list of consultant personnel, including names, titles and up to two sentences each describing their relevance to this project.  Please also indicate your team members’ availability during the project timeframe.

a. In your appendix, please include an org chart, up to 200 word descriptions of each institution included in your proposal (tailored to the specifics of this RFP), and either resumes or (preferred) links to personnel’s LinkedIn or other online profiles.

b. In your appendix, please comment on any potential conflicts with other elements of Resilient by Design.

4.     A budget, broken out by task and including fees and expenses.  Please include no-cost (pro bono) assets that your team will bring to this project, augmenting your fee-based work.

a. In your appendix, you are welcome to include budget details.

5.     A brief description of your project management approach, including a statement about your past experience working together as a consultant team.

6.     In your cover letter, a “why choose us” list of up to 5 unique assets your team brings to this work.

7.     In your appendix, a list of two references for the prime contractor and at least one reference for each sub on your team, including name, title, institution, direct phone and email.


[1] In this case, the resilience dividend includes quantifiable collateral benefits and it can help overcome major barriers to disaster risk prevention, bypass the need to create new regulations or policies that require that hazards be addressed, limit costs, prevent new silos from being created or even overcome them and help build adaptive capacity.

[2] Funding is money received for a specific purpose that does not have to be paid back. Examples include grants from federal or state government sources, local revenue, or foundations. Challenges with funding include the lack of dedicated resilience programs, siloed and piecemeal nature of funding sources, competitive allocation, requirements of matches from other sources, and over demand and allocation.

Financing is money received for projects or programs that has to be paid back. Loans, bonds, and other forms of public or private financing are examples. Generally, projects require revenue generation in order to be successfully financed.  Challenges with financing include that not all resilience work can be financed, mechanisms can be technically challenging to implement, and it requires revenue.