News / November 2019
Friday 18 May 2018
HASSELL+ unveils Resilient South City proposal for South San Francisco

HASSELL+ has revealed its design for South San Francisco as part of the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge.

'Collect and Connect - Resilient South City' will create a green-space corridor from Orange Memorial Park to a new public reserve on the shoreline. The proposal enhances access along South San Francisco’s Colma Creek and will reduce the impacts of flooding, sea-level rise vulnerability, restore native flora and fauna, and create more healthy lifestyle opportunities.

HASSELL Principal Richard Mullane said the proposal was about "reconnecting South City to the Bay."

"This community used to walk the length of the creek and swim in the bay. Our proposal aims to make that possible again, and to engage people in the longer term discussion of protecting the shoreline and adjacent airport against sea-level rise," he said.

Green spaces, slow streets

The project identifies opportunity sites across the entire Colma Creek watershed to create a resilient network of green spaces, playgrounds and slow streets.

A widened creek canal will reduce the impact of recurrent flooding, and restoration of native plants on San Bruno Mountain and throughout the watershed will build biodiversity and reduce irrigation needs. Orange Park is reimagined as a sports and community hub.

Equitable access to the shoreline

The new South City Circle Bridge is a pathway for continuous walking and cycling, and a bold statement of prioritised community access to the bay, acting as a gateway to South City for all transport modes.

Below this, a native plants nursery will enable flood detention and treat runoff from Highway 101, slowing and improving the quality of water flowing into Colma Creek and the Bay.

A new recharge reservoir at the base of San Bruno Mountain will collect storm water runoff and create passive infiltration through the location's unique geology.

Education and habitat restoration

An eco waterpark at the upgraded Water Quality Control Plant provides new opportunities for water education including a natural shoreline swimming pool. A new 'living levee' tidal barrier creates a wetland collector area for habitat restoration and recreation and can detain storm water in a king tide scenario.

Upgraded local schools on higher ground are imagined as resilience hubs that can treat water, provide community recreational spaces and become better equipped for times of disaster.

Building community investment

The design process embraced extensive stakeholder engagement, with specific involvement with representatives from the City of South San Francisco and San Mateo County and community partners, San Bruno Mountain Watch, Youth Leadership Institute and the South San Francisco Historical Society.

A temporary community hub on Grand Avenue was created to host conversations with elected officials, community leaders, local residents and students.

The team said that greater access to the water, education uses and places of genuine public ownership are needed to create a critical mass that cares about the shoreline and invests in this important conversation.

HASSELL+ will continue to work with the local community to make this vision of resilience a reality in South San Francisco and San Mateo County.

For more information, visit the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge website.

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