Researchers: Abandon Neighborhoods, Avoid Flood Zone to Limit Sea Level Rise

By Kevin Stark : sfpublicpress – excerpt

Understanding the sociology and politics around word ‘retreat’ 

San Francisco is partway through a years-long process of proposing elaborate — and incredibly expensive — engineering fixes to the looming prospect of sea level rise. But the current sketches of a future city buttressed by dikes, levees and seawalls, which could cost tens of billions of dollars over coming decades, overshadow an increasingly accepted alternative: moving away from the waterfront.

Some experts in climatology, urban planning and demographics argue that physical barriers offer only the illusion of protection and that cities should accept that some neighborhoods will need to be abandoned.

Karen O’Neill, a Rutgers University sociologist who studies “climate migration” worldwide, argued that city planners should entice people to move away from vulnerable areas where flooding could be exacerbated by climate change.

The “protect your way out of the whole thing” approach is folly, she recently told an energy reporter at Bloomberg View… (more)

 

Voter signatures to qualify waterfront height measure on ballot await certification

Voter signatures to qualify waterfront height measure on ballot await certification

by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

OFFICIALLY ENDORSED BY THE SIERRA CLUB!

 

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Voter signatures to qualify waterfront height measure on ballot await certification

by Joshua Sabatini

February 4, 2014

San Francisco voters could soon become the official guardians of the allowable height limits for The City’s prized waterfront property.

It appears more than enough signatures to place an initiative on waterfront height limits on the June ballot were submitted Monday to the Department of Elections. If the measure is approved, proposed developments that exceed current Port of San Francisco height regulations would be forced to receive voter approval. Waterfront height limits generally range from 40 to 105 feet.

While 9,702 valid signatures were required, proponents submitted 21,067, which were gathered in the past three weeks by 400 paid or volunteer workers. The department has 30 days to certify them. The effort comes on the heels of voters soundly defeating in November the 8 Washington St. luxury condo waterfront development, which the Board of Supervisors had approved… (more)

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