On November 15th, 10 international interdisciplinary design teams revealed their preliminary research findings for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge. The proposals were the result of an intensive research stage where each team–composed of of architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, and other experts–spent the past 3 months exploring the Bay Area, from Coyote Creek in San Jose to Sears Point in Sonoma, to gain a deeper perspective of the region’s diversity, culture and range of typologies. The teams visited over 50 sites selected by the public as the most vulnerable ecological systems and bayfront communities in the region.

The resulting proposals focused on a host of resilience challenges ranging from fluvial flooding, to the daily chronic challenges of inequity, housing and transportation. The 32 submitted proposals put forth comprehensive strategies that include proposed ferry lines and a new cross bay tunnel; decking over infrastructure to create flood barriers, open spaces and area for housing; addressing regulatory changes on natural sediment which could be used as a resource in flood mitigation; repurposing industrial land for flood protection, housing and jobs; and innovative strategies for recharging groundwater. 

The design proposals are now open for public comment. Based on that feedback, the Research Advisory Committee will pair each of the teams with one of their proposals in early December, when they will proceed to the Design Stage. Teams will then spend this spring working in close collaboration with local community stakeholders, like an advisory board of local experts in environmental justice, seismic risk, and other relevant areas, making their plans through a board of regional organizations and governments tasked with leading the competition, as well as with public financing experts, to develop solutions with the greatest impact that are innovative, implementable and fundable using today’s technology and financing tools.