the story of Rebuild By Design, a competition – and now its own organisation – based on taking a more proactive approach to disaster response in cities; but how far can you prepare for the effects of climate change?
Ten years ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg released a plan to create what he called “the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city”. The blueprint, known as PlaNYC and released on Earth Day, outlined more than 100 projects and policies to create that sustainable city by 2030.
It set a precedent for local action on climate change; cities around the world began drafting their own sustainability plans. But then in October 2012, it got a harsh reality check.
To counter the havoc that storm surges can wreak in coastal areas along the San Francisco Bay, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill zeroes in on the source of the problem.
Rising sea levels are a worldwide problem, but for the approximately 500-mile shoreline of the San Francisco Bay, one partial solution may lie in something that is actually quite small: the 1.5-mile-wide mouth of the bay, where the Golden Gate Bridge crosses. If water could be stopped from surging through that opening, the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) reasoned, much of the Bay Area could be saved from flooding.