Connecting Through Water


Connecting communities through water as experience proposes to protect the community and new investments from sea-level rise through hard and soft infrastructure

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.

Connecting communities through water as experience proposes to protect the community and new investments from sea-level rise through hard and soft infrastructure, creating an Eco Parkway to connect Gateway Park and Schnitzer Steel shoreline with a waterway that mimics the historic shoreline and incorporates a treatment (constructed) wetland for natural filtration of stormwater and wastewater from the East Bay MUD wastewater treatment plant. This water parkway will provide local protection from flooding, including the Bay Bridge approach which serves 240,000 commuters each day, and improve treatment of water that flows into the Bay.   engage people with the bay by using water as cultural placemaking, creating green and blue space (the Eco Parkway) to provide improved local Bay access along the full waterway for health and recreation and connect West Oakland communities to Alameda shoreline. Move people and goods around the bay by extending the Eco Parkway as a bridge across the Oakland Estuary to Alameda, reconfiguring transportation arteries that create significant health problems for West Oakland and to reconnect it to Jack London District and the Bay, and explore stacking infrastructure along the parkway.  These changes will provide the benefits of connection to neighboring communities, improved air quality, and improved quality of life from reduced neighborhood traffic.

Grow opportunities for housing and jobs by building upon the West Oakland Specific Plan to provide another outlet for Bay Area growth pressures, and by stacking infrastructure and creating a bridge between Alameda and Oakland integrated with mixed-use development to provide affordable housing, local jobs, parks network expansion, reduce traffic and commute times so people can work where they live, eliminate truck traffic and idling within the community, and connect neighborhoods in Alameda to the East Bay job market.

Connecting Through Water

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Connecting Through Water

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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