Deltares in winning team to make the San Francisco Bay area resilient

Published: 13 September 2017

Deltares is taking part in a global team to make the San Francisco Bay area resilient. The team is one of the ten winning design teams in the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge. The teams are required to make a plan for sites that are vulnerable to the threats of climate change and where action and investment could enhance community resilience. The challenge brings together community members and public officials with local, national and international experts to develop innovative solutions.

Ten design teams are now in San Francisco to participate in a three-month Collaborative Research Phase that will culminate in ten new implementable projects that address the climate impacts that threaten the Bay Area’s ecosystems and communities. “The local knowledge and understanding of the Bay area, is key to determining the water challenges in the area”, says Roelof Stuurman, (ground)water and subsidence expert at Deltares. “At Deltares, we already have a lot of knowledge and models of the San Francisco Bay area: storm surges, flooding, morphology and water quality. But the knowledge of the subsoil e.g. land subsidence and the (urban) water system and groundwater regimes must be taken into account as well, to make San Francisco resilient for the future. In addition, at a later stage, we can also provide an analysis of the relationship between the water issues and the city’s socio-economic circumstances.”

Modelled on New York’s “Rebuild by Design”

The Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge is modelled on New York’s “Rebuild by Design”, which began as a new kind of design competition in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The programme is tied to The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network, which aims to support 100 cities to build up resilience for the 21st-century.

International and multi-disciplinary team

Deltares is one of the parties in the HASSEL+ team. Local and global parties team up in this challenge. The team consist of architects, water experts, transport experts, heritage experts, designers, community creators and ecologists.“This team understands designing for water, living with water and the immense potential that waterfront places offer to communities who are connected to them”, acccording to HASSELL Principal, Richard Mullane. “This is an incredibly exciting and important opportunity to design and enhance the lives of Bay Area communities.”

The HASSELL+ team comprises:

  •  HASSELL (design team lead)
  •  MVRDV (architecture and planning collaborator)
  • Civic Edge Consulting (community engagement)
  • Deltares (water and subsurface)
  • Lotus Water (hydrology and ecology)
  • Frog Design (technology and social impact)
  • Goudappel (transport)
  • Page & Turnbull (heritage)

About the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge

Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge is a collaborative research and design project that brings together local residents, public officials and local, national and international experts to develop innovative solutions for the issues caused by climate change, that our region faces today. In a year-long challenge, teams of engineers, architects, designers and other experts will work alongside community members, to identify critical areas throughout the Bay Area and propose exciting, new, community-based solutions that will strengthen our region’s resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes. The result will be 10 new implementable projects that offer an imaginative and collaborative approach to resilience. By seizing the critical need to address climate change as an opportunity to bring about a stronger, safer Bay, we will be protecting shoreline communities and preparing for the local challenges brought on by sea level rise.