Contra Costa County
The Home Team
The Home Team was assembled to explore affordability as a driver of deep transformation, and to leverage multiple benefits that can emerge when a design approach is co-created through the lens of home. The physical design team is led by Mithun, a San Francisco- and Seattle-based interdisciplinary design firm. Collaborating team members include Biohabitats, Integral Group, Moffatt & Nichol, HR&A Advisors, Alta Planning + Design, Urban Biofilter and the Resilient Design Institute. Bringing a deeper multi-layered understanding of issues of social resilience, the Home Team includes Bay Area-based community development corporation Chinatown Community Development Center, as well as the social justice-focused organization, I-SEEED/Streetwyze.
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The Home Team continues to work towards a stronger, safer Bay Area, by designing innovative solutions that tackle the impacts of climate change in North Richmond. The team's design process will rely heavily on local North Richmond voices to inspire real transformation. Together with community members, the Home Team will utilize the next design phase to listen and learn from the insights of local residents, help imagine and design approaches that take on climate risk, and ensure the solutions proposed in May of 2018 reflect community needs.
North Richmond has been selected as a priority resilience site for the Bay Area Challenge.
Risks: sea level rise, storm surge and tidal flooding, aging infrastructure, displacement and lack of housing.
The history of North Richmond is complex. A place of historic racial inequity, African American families in the Bay Area, here for the WWII shipbuilding effort, were forced to settle into low-lying areas cut off from other communities by railroads, refineries, and other infrastructure. Today, communities of color in North Richmond still fight a legacy of structural inequity and environmental injustice.
As sea levels rise, the antiquated, inadequate drainage systems currently in place in Atchison Village, Liberty Village, and adjacent Iron Triangle neighborhoods leave significant numbers of people vulnerable to losing their homes to flooding. Additionally, sea level rise, storm surge, earthquake and liquefaction, and potential refinery disaster threaten Point Molates. A comprehensive approach will help with preserving housing and increasing access to open space and industry jobs. Additionally, housing insecurity is a vulnerability in North Richmond. Atchison Village, Liberty Village, and the surrounding Iron Triangle are intensely impacted by an acute lower income housing shortage.
The Home Team’s research and design approach frame all planning efforts in the context of racial history. By acknowledging and discussing what structural equity might look like, their design process will work to protect and enhance existing units and neighborhoods from gentrification and displacement.
The Home Team sees North Richmond as an opportunity to leverage design solutions that focus on the integration of housing and ecological infrastructure and ensure that new wealth-building opportunities are for existing residents and increase structural equity. The team’s skills are uniquely suited to meet the complex requirements of mitigating sea level rise and climate change impacts while linking investments to building shared prosperity for existing residents.