On February 6, we held our third workshop with the City of Oakland and partners West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) and Streetwyze. City and community leaders joined together to begin to design an engagement strategy that takes a community-centered approach to determining how the city can respond to the critical challenge of addressing Sea Level Rise (SLR). This novel approach arises from applying Rebuild by Design’s process to the City’s desire to be more intentional in deepening its community engagement efforts.

Presentations from the City and WOEIP about the potential future impacts that SLR could have on West Oakland were  discussed as were what tools might be available to help collect community-driven data to City policy. “As our public resources continue to shrink each year, local government and cohesive communities must learn to work together to problem solve and being the best ideas to implementation,” says Brian Beveridge of WOEIP.

We are now co-designing an action plan for engagement around how to best prepare for SLR in the neighborhood of West Oakland which will include 1) creating a social map of related groups and initiatives that are already underway and 2) creating a program where residents can train their neighbors on the basics of sea level rise and how to collect and exchange information on a digital platform. 

The goal of this process is to effectively engage the community to bring concerns and solutions to the table as the City designs and enacts future policy. After we carry out the plan, we will come back together to iterate on how we can apply this methodology to other projects.