San Francisco is booming. In 2012 more than 4220 housing units began construction compared to a mere 269 units in the previous year. In addition, 32120 new units were approved by the planning department. In this new optimistic environment, this studio will investigate the role of urban design in building a resilient city. As a dense urban network fraught with risk – with vulnerable populations facing possible seismic events, floods, fires and extreme heat - San Francisco has put into play several policy initiatives to build in resilience. Aligning with the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR) our studio will be putting those plans in to design. The studio site focuses on the marginalized area of Hunters Point. Until 1969 the site was the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory from which time it became an electrical power plant. The plant was finally shut down in 2008 and Hunters Point is currently undergoing toxic remediation. In its efforts to combat poverty and crime, the city built the MUNI Third St light-rail line in 2007, but the neighborhood still struggles with socio economic complexities. One third of the site is located within the tsunami inundation zone, 80% of the site in the liquefaction zone, and with sea level rise estimated at 36” by 2080 the site is also well within the prime flood risk zone. This complex area is now slated for 10,500 new residential units and 340,000 m2 of commercial space. In tackling the 280 hectare site, this studio employs landscape, infrastructure, and urban design strategies in telescoping phases. The emphasis of this studio is not to look at the above mentioned hazards as the prime focus of the design, but to embed the measures into everyday scenario and to find the unique overlapping opportunities which only surface when considering all the issues simultaneously. Researching, uncovering and inventing mitigation strategies in multiple scenarios, multiple uses and multiple times scales will be the challenge.
Miho Mazereeuw, Aditya Barve, Barry Beagan, Kyle Barker, Phebe Dudek, Fei Hong, SunMin Hwang, Chris Mackey, David Moses, Nicholas Polansky, Ulises Reyes, Mingx Zou