Our project, titled Community Voices aims to make the issue of climate change more personal by sharing stories of climate change adaptation, mitigation, and general community resilience from individuals across the Bay Area. Through these stories, we - and our partners at the Tech Museum - not only hope to educate people on existing climate efforts in their area but also to inspire hope and to motivate these people to get involved in climate activism. For our project, we collected audio stories from members of different communities about how they have personally been impacted by climate change. The project aims to elevate the stories and lived experiences of individuals and organizations across the Bay Area who are not only feeling the impacts of climate change but adapting to and mitigating these impacts in creative and innovative ways. Through seeing and hearing about climate impacts in their communities, our audience will understand how urgent climate issues have become.
Natural Resource Management in San Mateo County's Parks (2017) Project Report
Students: Holly Tullo, Emmanuel Assa, Dani McDonald and David Cross
Protected land covers 42% of the County of San Mateo. These protected lands provide vital ecosystems services related to clean water, food security, disaster mitigation, and carbon sequestration, and also provide critical habitat for a myriad of plant and animal species living within the region. However, most of these benefits are difficult to quantify, and land managers often point to anecdotal evidence versus actual data when acquiring land or implementing natural resource management actions to improve the ecology of a protected landscape. This project will focus on a) what wildlife camera data already exists for San Mateo County Parks from other organizations; and b) best practices for camera trapping (location selection, camera setup, data collection, and photo cataloging using the Wildlife Insights program) that can be implemented in four more County parks going forward.
Empowering Residents in Housing Planning in the Alisal City of Salinas (2017) Project Report
The Alisal Vibrancy Plan was created in response to the advocacy performed by residents of Alisal, encouraging a more community-driven process in policy decisions. As a team, we were tasked by our community partner to read the Alisal/East Salinas Housing Target Market Analysis (HTMA), summarize the information into concise and clear language, and translate the key findings into Spanish. We then created an infographic that is easily understandable and accessible to the residents of Alisal as the information is concise and in a language known to them. The goal of this project, headed by Visión Salinas and the City, is to empower the community of Alisal by putting their voice and opinions into direct conversation with the current housing recommendations being proposed. We wanted to help the City identify solutions to the housing crisis that are appropriate and effective for the local community and its needs. We hoped to enhance their understanding by taking the key points from the technical HTMA document and condensing it into a format that allows for greater community understanding of the data. On a larger scale, we as a team sought out to learn about the Alisal community and its needs in order to understand the complexities of policy documents, their implications and the potential impact on the community.
Through this project, Salinas seeks to (1) create a windshield or walk-audit survey methodology that can be completed from the public right-of-way, (2) test the methodology on a sample of blocks in the Alisal and create simple education materials staff can use to train residents to complete the survey, (3) review the Housing Authority’s assessment of its own units and determine if any may qualify for a Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant, and (4) combine this information in a report that includes a brief summary of sustainable housing and neighborhood practices that can be considered by working groups in developing the Alisal Vibrancy Plan.
Students: Luis Ceferino, Gideon Davidson, Camilo Gomez, Ryan Lee, Jack Lundquist
Our project team worked with the City of Oakland and the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative to develop their Soft-Story Earthquake Retrofit Program to mitigate the damage caused to Oakland’s inhabitants in the event of an earthquake. Our team focused on using existing outreach and survey data to create planning tools for the City of Oakland that were visual and communicative. Of Oakland’s self-identified seven areas of vulnerability, our contributions could be understood as primarily addressing the areas of community planning and capacity building, as well as housing. Our four contributions were the production of a GIS risk map, a FEMA structural analysis of a statistically typical soft-story building, communicative online media, and a profile analysis of demographic preferences of Oakland residents. Our goal with these deliverables was to 1) inform the city of areas of greatest risk and 2) package the data into visuals that would make relative risk more clearer to both planners and the community members.
Students: Alireza Harandi, Jaslyn Law, and Reese Rogers Partner: Kara Gross and John Sztukowski (Joint Venture Silicon Valley)
This memo outlines our recommendations to Joint Venture Silicon Valley for the design and implementation of a sustainability data reporting tool. Throughout the quarter, we investigated several different pathways to find, report, and communicate sustainability data. After considering several alternatives, including a sustainability dashboard and a sustainability data hub, we ultimately conclude that there is an immediate and demonstrated need for a tool to streamline sustainability data reporting for cities in the Bay Area.
We reached our final recommendation by performing one-on-one interviews with several representatives of different stakeholders, including Sustainable San Mateo, Redwood City, and Benetech. Our team created several prototypes of how this web-based solution might function, based on stakeholder feedback and an in-depth literature review of strategies to enact behavior change for environmentally sustainable outcomes. Our final deliverable prototype is a social central hub for regional sustainability information reporting. It is composed of a public-facing front page and a secured backend for data reporting.