Marin City


Marin City residents are an organized and tight knit community, yet constant upland flooding, brackish water infiltration, deep health disparity and lack of emergency access highlight inequity within one of the nation’s most affluent counties.  Improvements to Highway 101, which regularly floods, can catalyze positive change in the City, however, it is essential that the existing residents not be displaced.  People there have experience with things not working out in their favor – so the process is as important as the outcomes.  New economic models need to come first in order for people to believe there are inclusive alternatives.  Public land trusts can stabilize land value and public private partnerships can support revenue sharing for community benefit. 
 
RELATE Marin City has just one way in and one way out and is cut off from adjacent amenities as Hwy 101 acts as a barrier – we propose elevating the low-lying portion of the highway, and connecting surface streets, trails and watershed ecology systems.
 
ADAPT With transfer of development rights, new horizontal levee and marsh areas can adapt to rising water and support new affordable houseboat cooperatives. Creek restoration, and street retrofits with green infrastructure can reduce upland flooding.
 
THRIVE  The community thrives with community reinvestment fund directing revenue to support projects with community benefit, such as a community center enhanced as a resilience hub and a highway integrated with solar power that supports a community owned clean-energy microgrid and an air quality management system. 
 
In twenty years, Marin City can have a Bay waterfront - reconfigured shoreline supporting a new mixed use center providing jobs, healthy food, and permanently supported affordable houseboats along a living shoreline, with an expanded tidal marsh. Residents, hikers, bikers and tourists use new trails and floating bridges to move easily between Sausalito, Tam Valley and the ethnic enclave of Marin City – the food, music and celebration of African American history and culture in the Bay area.
 
In the short term, a series of phased improvements to protect against king tide flooding includes a median redesigned to manage floods; a raised Bay Trail as part of a new horizontal levee designed to support tidal marsh when it becomes inundated in the future.
 
Resilience investments are a catalyst that can include many co-benefits including a shared economy with wealth building ownership in utilities and housing. The community will determine what is most important - such as space for a flea market every Saturday in a new floating town square – in this priority resilience area in Marin City. 

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Marin City

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The Home Team

The Home Team was assembled to explore affordability as a driver of deep transformation, and to leverage multiple benefits that can emerge when a design approach is co-created through the lens of home. Our team’s conceptual approach is rooted in an urban ecology of equitable bioregionalism. We propose re-envisioning our home as interdependent and a contributing component of the Bay’s natural systems for all people who live here. We seek to heal divisions and cultivate solutions, based on shared values, assets and vulnerabilities.

The physical design team is led by Mithun, a San...

The Home Team was assembled to explore affordability as a driver of deep transformation, and to leverage multiple benefits that can emerge when a design approach is co-created through the lens of home. Our team’s conceptual approach is rooted in an urban ecology of equitable bioregionalism. We propose re-envisioning our home as interdependent and a contributing component of the Bay’s natural systems for all people who live here. We seek to heal divisions and cultivate solutions, based on shared values, assets and vulnerabilities.

The physical design team is led by Mithun, a San Francisco- and Seattle-based interdisciplinary design firm of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, urban planners and interior designers. Collaborating team members share local knowledge and the perspective of complex interdependence: Biohabitats, Integral Group, Moffatt & Nichol, HR&A Advisors, Alta Planning + Design, Urban Biofilter and the Resilient Design Institute.

As an important complement to the physical design team members, The Home Team includes Bay Area-based community development corporation Chinatown Community Development Center, as well as the social justice-focused organization, I-SEEED/Streetwyze. These team members bring established local relationships with residents and stakeholders, as well as a multi-layered understanding of issues of affordability and social strife.

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