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State Looking to Require Cities to Plan for Rising Seas

California officials are taking their first, tentative steps toward requiring cities to plan for severe sea level rise that scientists now say could conceivably elevate high tides by up to 22 feet by the middle of the next century. A state-funded study recommends that local planners adopt a risk-averse approach to permitting developments such as hospitals and housing in areas that have even little chance of flooding in the coming decades.

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Mapping the Shoreline Building Boom as Seas Rise

The Bay Area’s current boom times represent a good news/bad news story. From Dogpatch to San Mateo to Alameda, bayside property is especially desirable — but increasingly complicated.

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Visionary Solutions to Bayfront Inundation

Responding to sea level rise requires actions that fall into three categories: fortify infrastructure, accommodate higher water and retreat from the shoreline. Given the economic and cultural ties Bay Area residents have to the water — retreat is a hard sell.

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By Weakening Law, Developers Shift Sea Rise Burden to Cities

Two years ago, the California Supreme Court overturned decades of land-use law by upholding lower court rulings that cities could no longer require developers to take into account the effects of climate change on their projects. That decision has unsettled public officials and planners, and critics say it will allow real estate interests to saddle taxpayers with a gigantic bill to defend against rising seas.