San Rafael is home to progressive pilot projects to expand living shorelines including oyster reefs and eelgrass beds. More of this experimentation is needed and is replicable to other parts of the bay.  As a shallow tidal plane, the San Rafael shoreline offers the right conditions for a robust living shoreline that will strengthen the protective and ecological capacity of this edge.

The current shoreline consists of a singular levee. Where space permits, the shoreline can be regraded to test alternatives slope conditions and planted zones. Given the uncertain rate at which tides will rise, this terraced tidal plane must be designed for change over time, allowing the marsh to migrate to higher elevations. This living lab can be used as a site for local school programs, creating educational opportunities for awareness and stewardship of sustained living infrastructure, thereby propagating a next generation of “citizen scientists.” The shoreline becomes a place for people, amenities, activities, and diverse ecologies.

Among the top ten overcrowded jurisdictions in the Bay area, only one is in North Bay—San Rafael. In the next twenty years, San Rafael is projected to have an increase of up to 11,000 residents, the highest population growth rate in Marin County, which will worsen the overcrowding. Not only is new housing needed but much of the city’s current housing stock consists of concrete buildings on soils susceptible to liquefaction, which are prone to failure in an earthquake. At higher elevations, housing density should be increased; at lower elevations, housing stock should be upgraded to be more stable, and in the process of upgrading, can be designed to be more adaptable to floods and sea level rise.

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Sooner // San Rafael

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BionicTeam

BionicTeam was assembled around the need to accelerate the response to sea level rise and resiliency at Bay Area sites most in need. BionicTeam’s potency is its distinctly different value proposition to compound value for early adaptation. Our spectrum range includes policy and legal framework design, sharp analysis, creative engagement, equity promotion, pioneering architecture and engineering, and design invention to enable paradigm shifts.

BionicTeam unites an elite group of professionals positioned to design, finance, and implement complex Bay Area projects. Progressive Bay Area...

BionicTeam was assembled around the need to accelerate the response to sea level rise and resiliency at Bay Area sites most in need. BionicTeam’s potency is its distinctly different value proposition to compound value for early adaptation. Our spectrum range includes policy and legal framework design, sharp analysis, creative engagement, equity promotion, pioneering architecture and engineering, and design invention to enable paradigm shifts.

BionicTeam unites an elite group of professionals positioned to design, finance, and implement complex Bay Area projects. Progressive Bay Area design and development talent merges with distinguished interdisciplinary expertise to offer a national perspective and diverse capability. Internationally recognized as innovative designers and influencers, team leaders Bionic, WXY, PennDesign, and Michael Yarne form a potent combination of urban invention.

Bionic is a San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm led by Design Director Marcel Wilson. Bionic invents landscapes to enable life and stimulate culture in this complex world. PennDesign is renowned for excellent cross-disciplinary research. WXY is an interdisciplinary design practice at the forefront of resilient infrastructure. BionicTeam’s experts – Enterprise, Moffatt & Nichol, WRA, RMA, SF State, Baycat, Studio for Urban Projects, RAD Urban, KMA – have a deep Bay Area knowledge and are ingrained in its communities. BionicTeam is an exciting collaboration!

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