Community Uplift


Communities like West Oakland and East Palo Alto are being squeezed between two surging tides: sea-level rise and the rise of housing prices in the bay area. To make matters worse, they fear, with justification, that investments in resilient solutions to climate change could lead to gentrification and displacement. Team Uplift’s initial design opportunities address that conundrum and offer ideas based on research and community engagement, that equitably address historical environmental injustices, that increase community and regional resiliency over the long-term, that restore ecological functions and access to nature even in severely altered landscapes.

By working at this interface of the surging seas and surging economic forces on land, rather than focusing on each separately, we can develop opportunities that work for protecting communities from rising tides, bringing water experience into communities and communities to the bay,  protecting vital regional transportation networks, and open up economic opportunities to improve communities in place. By working together to protect communities, we can fashion solutions on the peripheries of communities to unleash economic returns that can come back to the community, open up the advantages of access to nature and water, and regionally benefit the Bay Area.

Bridging communities through uplift proposes to protect the community and new investments from sea-level rise through hard and soft infrastructure that mimics the historic shoreline at bay and community interfaces where flooding occurs. This infrastructure will provide flood protection for the community and critical infrastructure such as the east bay mud wastewater treatment plant, and the bay bridge approach that serves 240,000 commuter each day.  Engage communities to the bay by removing physical barriers to existing and planned parks along the water.  This will improve local access to the bay and green space for health and recreation by intertwining ecological and urban conditions. And by decking over the rail properties will provide even greater access for West Oakland to the oakland waterfront. Move people and goods by reconfiguring transportation arteries that create significant health problems for West Oakland and disconnect the communities from the bay. 

We’ll explore decking over existing rail facilities and stacking existing transportation lines to protect the community from exhaust, create an additional barrier to flooding from sea-level rise, and provide more usable land for the community. Ongoing changes in the way the port of oakland functions and the new logistics center at the old army base provide opportunities for reconfiguring transportation flows. This could eliminate truck traffic and idling in the community, reduce neighborhood traffic, improve health, improve connections to neighboring communities, and provide additional land for community use. Grow opportunities for housing and jobs in the community by providing up to hundreds of acres of new land, as described above, to create space for residences and small industry, expand the parks network, and create connections to the bay.  This could provide additional affordable housing and local jobs within the community, preserve and increase the tax base, and reduce commuter traffic so people can work in the community where they live.

Community Uplift

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Uplift

Team UPLIFT is a diverse group with deep, far-ranging experience, well able to address the challenges of resiliency in the Bay Area. Our core team consists of Gensler, Arup, and Margie Ruddick Landscape (MRL), and we are supported by HR&A Advisors, Stamen Design, UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), and Stanford University Sustainable Urban Systems (SUS) group.

Our collective experience spans scales, disciplines, and the globe. Gensler, founded over 50 years ago in San Francisco, will provide urban planning, design, and architecture expertise. Arup, a global...

Team UPLIFT is a diverse group with deep, far-ranging experience, well able to address the challenges of resiliency in the Bay Area. Our core team consists of Gensler, Arup, and Margie Ruddick Landscape (MRL), and we are supported by HR&A Advisors, Stamen Design, UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), and Stanford University Sustainable Urban Systems (SUS) group.

Our collective experience spans scales, disciplines, and the globe. Gensler, founded over 50 years ago in San Francisco, will provide urban planning, design, and architecture expertise. Arup, a global engineering consultancy, brings environmental engineering, infrastructure, and resiliency risk analysis, and MRL leads the landscape architecture and ecological design efforts. HR&A Advisors will bring public finance and policy insight, while Stamen Design will assist in the data visualization and research.

The diversity and depth of our team enables us to approach this greatest of 21st century challenges with experience, openness, and creativity. We approach with open minds and hearts, with no presumption that we know the answers in advance. We will eagerly listen to the voices of the community to guide us, because the foundation we create today is the one that our shared community will depend on in the future.

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