De-Pave Park

Alameda, CA

Back to

Experiencing the Natural World in Transition

De-Pave Park is one of several waterfront parks included in the Specific Plan for the redevelopment of Alameda Point, a decommissioned military base on the East Bay shoreline that will become a mixed-use community serving the public. De-Pave is noteworthy for its highly sustainable and resilient design approach in recycling 100% of the existing site materials, and transforming a large, paved airstrip into an ecological park that welcomes sea level rise strategies through its community driven design process. The future of shoreline wetlands in the San Francisco Bay is grim. As sea levels rise, wetlands will become inundated resulting in more subtidal habitats but far less critical intertidal habitats. This project is a model for how parklands can be planned to create more future wetlands by thinking about landscapes as transitional – allowing natural forces to change landscapes over time to create a resilient waterfront.

220407 DePave Park Bridge-Red Cut

As a model for mitigating the effects of climate change, De-Pave Park will sequester far more carbon than is emitted to build and maintain it—offsetting its own carbon footprint in just 4 years. After which, the park will continue to sequester large amounts of carbon as part of the global solution to climate change. By restoring nature and engaging the Bay, De-Pave Park will be an ecologically productive landscape for native wildlife and a recreational and educational resource for the community. The park design re-uses 100% of the paving and structures in the existing landscape to create fill for future park areas that will remain above the waterline, while allowing 90% of the park to become intertidal with 3-6 feet of sea level rise. Nearly all of the paved areas required for circulation will utilize existing paving. The aggressive recycling program dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of construction, while the increased native planting areas will increase carbon sequestration.


De-Pave Park creates 22-acres of new tidal marshes and wildlife habitat for aquatic species, shorebirds, waterfowl, and marine mammals within a dense urban area with public access and educational programming.  Public access includes pedestrian trails, observation points of wetlands, an observation area that is accessible to people of all physical abilities, a trail running the length of the park, interpretive educational signage and programs, restroom, and parking lot. The project was designed as a 50% pro bono project by the design team, which included several community stakeholders interested in habitat restoration, recreation, education, jobs training, and social equity. The park design was approved by the Alameda City Council and has received restoration funding through the Measure AA Grant from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority.