North Richmond


The challenges and opportunities in North Richmond are complex; daily life here means families making a way through poverty, crime and episodic flooding. A place of historic racial inequity, African American families in the Bay area here for the WWII shipbuilding effort, were forced to settle into the low-lying area, cut off by from other communities by railroads, refineries and other infrastructure.  The community also has a beautiful cultural history  and is well organized… developing a North Richmond Vision Plan, a downtown Richmond Main Street, community programs at the Verde School, and urban farm sites, bioswales and tree planting with Urban Tilth. And there’s much more to be discovered by listening to local voices.
 
RELATE By improving walkability and bikeability to BART, the ferry terminal and Point Molate, residents can reduce commute times and re-engage with Bay nature at as part of regular routines. Green infrastructure and floating trails address flooding while enhancing quality of life.

ADAPT Horizontal levees and improvements to wastewater infrastructure open up opportunities to build new permanently affordable housing and experiment with living with new bayland conditions.  Public land trusts are envisioned that lease land to non-profit developers and community-based operators, using a partnership structure.

THRIVE The community and the ecosystem will thrive as creeks are expanded and naturalized – the fertile area between the two creeks that once grew flowers in abundance can become food production at scale – catalyzed by an urban ecology business incubator that is a new source of jobs, innovative housing and a clean energy park on the site of the former landfill.

Looking twenty years out decentralized wastewater systems can be located in each neighborhood.  These systems look like a greenhouse are open to the public and can be community owned, generating income from ecosystem services, processing nutrients and returning clean water to the Bay.  As infrastructure is relocated to inland locations, the waterfront is freed up for new floating housing and ecological restoration.   

In the near term, the North Richmond Water Reclamation Plant can provide treatment with constructed wetlands, allowing for pocket marsh connections that are healthier for the Bay edge and the birds on the Pacific flyway.  As waters rise, the constructed wetlands transition to salt marshes to augment the Bay’s estuarine habitat.

Students from Kennedy High School in Richmond have shared visions of healthy food, floating homes, rooftop gardens and multi-modal transportation. Stacking funding sources for ecology, wastewater and health can support this neighborhood transformation.  A priority resilience area in North Richmond.

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North RIchmond

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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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