[Common Grounds in the Baylands]                  [Public Outreach at SF Bay Flyway Festival on Mare Island]

Team Common Ground, a group of designers, engineers, scientists, and educators is working on a design study of the San Pablo Baylands and highway 37 corridor for the Resilient by Design|Bay Area Challenge.While the focus of the design challenge is on strengthening local and regional resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding, and seismic events, the team is also trying to address other, sometimes more pressing challenges including lack of housing, displacement, limited access to public land, and outdated transportation.

Along with local stakeholders and the input of San Pablo Bay communities, Team Common Ground is looking at ways that people around San Pablo Bay could share and steward environmental resources while having more diverse means to connect with each other for work, living, recreation, food and health, and cultural ties.

This focus on San Pablo Bay has made understanding the work-to-date on State Route 37 (SR 37) and baylands conservation important aspects of the team’s approach. The project aims to reimagine the SR 37 corridor, support ongoing restoration of the Bay Area’s largest continuous marsh system, and equitably connect communities around San Pablo Bay through a resilient and diverse transportation network. To unite the communities of San Pablo Bay with the rest of the Bay Area, Team Common Ground envisions transitioning from predominantly single-function transportation infrastructure to a network of interrelated modes that encourage smart growth, are resilient to sea-level rise and seismic events, and that accommodate natural hydrological dynamics to incrementally restore vibrant and functional bayland ecosystems.

TLS Landscape Architecture Principal Erik Prince described the team’s scope, “We see our role as supporting and building on the work that’s already underway, communicating the risks of sea level rise, helping to provide an appealing vision of what the future of the SR37 corridor and baylands might look like, and working with community leaders to get broad-based stakeholder buy-in. We want our proposal to be realistic, but we also want to provide a fresh look at the problem while still drawing from and supporting the years of hard work that’s already been done.”

Team Common Ground consists of: TLS Landscape Architecture, Exploratorium, Sitelab Urban Studio, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Guy Nordenson & Associates, Rana Creek Design, Lotus Water, Richard Hindle, Dr. John Oliver, HR&A Advisors, Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants.