By Alastair Bland

On the south face of San Bruno Mountain, giant white letters read “South San Francisco: The Industrial City.” According to Richard Mullane, urban designer and Resilient by Design team member of HASSELL+, “that sign has given this city a massive identity problem.” As a part of the challenge to redesign a Bay Area more resilient to sea level rise, HASSELL+ has focused on the urban core of South San Francisco, currently a noisy mess of boulevards, freeways, and warehouses that have all but suffocated Colma creek. “If we simplified our project down to one thing, it would be that they need more parks, especially along the creek,” says Mullane. They also hope to line the creek with native vegetation and a cycling-walking path, helping to make the small but congested city into a more bikeable or walkable place. For Cherbowsky Corkdidi of San Bruno Mountain Watch, the Resilient by Design project has the alluring potential not only to improve the city’s resilience but also to restore an ailing creek. “The mountain is our resource,” he says. “We just need to break up the concrete.”

Read More

South San Francisco: Colma Creek Collect and Connect

By Alastair Bland

On the south face of San Bruno Mountain, giant white letters read “South San Francisco: The Industrial City.” According to Richard Mullane, urban designer and Resilient by Design team member of HASSELL+, “that sign has given this city a massive identity problem.” As a part of the challenge to redesign a Bay Area more resilient to sea level rise, HASSELL+ has focused on the urban core of South San Francisco, currently a noisy mess of boulevards, freeways, and warehouses that have all but suffocated Colma creek. “If we simplified our project down to one thing, it would be that they need more parks, especially along the creek,” says Mullane. They also hope to line the creek with native vegetation and a cycling-walking path, helping to make the small but congested city into a more bikeable or walkable place. For Cherbowsky Corkdidi of San Bruno Mountain Watch, the Resilient by Design project has the alluring potential not only to improve the city’s resilience but also to restore an ailing creek. “The mountain is our resource,” he says. “We just need to break up the concrete.”

Read More

Related Content

Resilent by Design Bay Area Challenge

The Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (2017-2018) invited nine teams to design innovative shoreline adaptations to rising sea levels at nine sites around the San Francisco Estuary. The visions provided by this pre-disaster challenge — modeled on the post-disaster Rebuild by Design challenge in New York that followed superstorm Sandy — are powerful, silo-crossing conversation starters for a region now working to prepare low-lying communities, creeks, habitats, and infrastructure for a bigger Bay.
About the author

A native to San Francisco, Alastair Bland is a freelance journalist who writes about water policy in California, rivers and salmon, marine conservation and climate change. His work has appeared at NPR.org, Smithsonian.com, Yale Environment 360 and News Deeply, among many other outlets. When he isn't writing, Alastair is likely riding his bicycle uphill as fast as he can.

Related Posts

subisdence on 4 delta islands map

Asked to suggest an appropriate future for four Delta islands owned by the Metropolitan Water District, it’s difficult not to want the moon.

Why not richer rice fields, more wetlands, better boat launches, extended trails, even eco-tourism? ? A new survey for the Delta Islands Adaptation Project, funded by a Prop 1 Watershed Restoration Grant, wants the public’s opinion on the importance of 10 possible land-use objectives leading to the selection of one...
chart by Hutton

An examination of 50 years of records reveals an apparent seasonal bias in estimates of freshwater flow from the Delta to the San Francisco Estuary.

The seasonal bias suggests flows were overestimated during the summer months and underestimated during the winter. Estimates of Delta outflow use a measurement called net Delta outflow index (NDOI), which is determined by taking the amount of Delta inflow, from sources such as the Calaveras, Sacramento, and San Joaquin rivers,...
diagram of fish net trawl

Fish monitoring surveys in the San Francisco Estuary net different numbers of different fish species depending upon when and how they sample.

According to a new study published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, even surveys that target the same part of the water column can come up with significantly different catches. The study’s authors analyzed decades worth of data from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fall Midwater...