Bay Towns - Oakland and Alameda


Oakland and Alameda are together the urban core of the East Bay. These two cities consist of over 170 diverse neighborhoods, differentiated by location, topography and community, and often disconnected from one another by regional infrastructure. I-580, I-880, I-980, and Amtrak are all physical and psychic barriers separating communities from one another and from surrounding resources. Any effort for resiliency in the East Bay must begin by addressing interconnectivity and interdependency between communities and the resources and amenities of the city and wider region.

We propose 4 transformational projects to help address the many issues around social equity, environmental quality and health, economic investment, interconnectivity and transit to create a more resilient Oakland and Alameda:

First, we propose to create a new Transbay Transit Tube to connect the Oakland and Alameda to San Francisco, a necessary move to improve Bay Area mobility, one that is a center-piece of California’s 2018 State Rail Plan. 

In this way, we see our proposal for Oakland, Alameda and San Francisco’s Mission Creek as one holistic concept to address connectivity and resiliency across the Bay. 

The new Transbay Tube would utilize and reconfigure the I-980 corridor. We propose to cap this sunken highway with new parks for recreation, play and wellness, while also opening up air rights development opportunities in the form of new housing, community facilities and essential amenities. This transformation would create a greener and healthier City, and directly connect the West Oakland neighborhoods to Oakland’s Downtown.

Next, we create greater connectivity between Downtown Oakland and its Waterfront. We start by sinking the I-880 viaduct into below-grade tunnels. We do the same with Amtrak: we sink the train lines into below-grade tunnels, thereby eliminating the final barrier between the City and the Bay. Both corridors are radically transformed into a more safe, accessible, healthy and green boulevards, complete with parks, community facilities and new development opportunities.

Finally, we strengthen and reimagine Oakland’s and Alameda’s Inner Harbor seawalls as state-of-the-art, seismic-resistant edges, updated pedestrian promenades and enhanced tidal marine environments. The new seawalls will address issues of sea level rise as well as ecology and aquatic habitat rehabilitation, while protecting vulnerable neighborhoods and resources.

The result is a more interconnected, more affordable and equitable, more green and healthy, and more resilient East Bay. 

Our proposal for Oakland and Alameda involves thoughtful planning for connecting neighborhoods, for new housing and development, transit and infrastructure, and for vibrant public spaces and waterfronts for people to engage with and experience the Bay.

Any future work in the Oakland and Alameda would be collaboratively developed with a coalition of local and regional organizations and individuals, beginning with: The City of Oakland; The City of Alameda; AMTRAK; Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN); BART; California State Transportation Agency; Communities For a Better Environment (CBE); HOPE (Health for Oakland’s People and Environment); Collaborative Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project; Oakland Climate Action Coalition; Greenbelt Alliance; Metropolitan Transportation Commission; Youth Uprising; Unity Council; Family Support Services of Bay Area; Transportation and Land Use Coalition; SPUR; and many others!

Concept

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Bay Towns - Oakland and Alameda

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Scenario

James Corner Field Operations, Moffatt & Nichol, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, SF BAY National Estuarine Research Reserve, Romberg-Tiburon Center, SFSF, Andrea Baker Consulting, James Lima Planning + Development, The Bay Institute, SeArc / ECOncrete, HT Harvey and Associates, Playhou.se, Adventure Pictures

The Field Operations Team brings a bold and optimistic vision for how the Bay Area can better adapt to climate change, rising sea levels and related environmental stresses in the coming decades.

We begin with the framework of ‘One bay, many communities, many solutions.’ The notion...

James Corner Field Operations, Moffatt & Nichol, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, SF BAY National Estuarine Research Reserve, Romberg-Tiburon Center, SFSF, Andrea Baker Consulting, James Lima Planning + Development, The Bay Institute, SeArc / ECOncrete, HT Harvey and Associates, Playhou.se, Adventure Pictures

The Field Operations Team brings a bold and optimistic vision for how the Bay Area can better adapt to climate change, rising sea levels and related environmental stresses in the coming decades.

We begin with the framework of ‘One bay, many communities, many solutions.’ The notion of ‘One Bay’ speaks to the bay as something shared and fundamental. The notion of ‘Many Communities’ speaks to the great number of settlements that surround the bay, and the great diversity of priorities and points-of-view. The notion of ‘Many Solutions’ speaks to the diversity of conditions around the bay - and the importance of an approach that accommodates rich variation and difference. These three guiding frameworks will form the basis around which our work will take shape.

James Corner Field Operations is an interdisciplinary urban design and landscape architecture practice based in New York City and San Francisco. Our Team of innovative, collaborative and locally-based designers, engineers, ecologists, urban strategists, and communication specialists aims to thoughtfully imagine new possibilities for the Bay Area that can grow in scale, incentivize investment, build public support and excitement, facilitate coordination across jurisdictions, and contribute to the larger global effort to increase resilience.

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