Estuary Commons Co-Creation

San Leandro Bay, East Oakland, CA

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Community Resilience Driven by Community Members

The San Francisco Bay Area has a deep history of innovation, creativity and community coupled with the urgency to act. As part of a year-long challenge, the diverse design collective of locally-based globally experienced professionals, academics, students, and policy makers worked alongside community members and the local government to identify critical areas along San Leandro Bay – known locally as the Estuary – in East Oakland to propose an exciting new solution that addresses the everyday issues facing its residents. The challenge of East Oakland was as much about housing affordability, displacement, health, jobs, and access to public resources as about rising water levels. Fusing science, design excellence, academic leadership, community outreach, and business innovation, Estuary Commons adapts the San Leandro Bay with a network of public spaces, adapts ecological systems, and strengthens social and economic relationships for a future of community-driven resilience.

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The vision for The Estuary Commons was born out of a collaborative learning and co-design process. To center local priorities in the resilience planning, the design team facilitated a two-tiered approach to community and agency collaboration — first at the Project Working Group (PWG) level and second at the community level. The PWG, which included various government agencies and community-based organizations, met during intensive sessions, brought these representatives together to foster dialogue about the Estuary’s future and identify partnerships going forward.
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Various Community Stakeholders included; City of Oakland, San Francisco Estuary Institute, PG&E, City of Alameda, Caltrans, Oakland Airport, Repaired Nations, East Bay Regional Parks District, EB MUD, Oakland Climate Action Coalition, BART, HOPE Collaborative, Scraper Bike Team, East Oakland Collective, Merritt College Brower Dellums Institute for Sustainable Policy Studies, Sobrante Park RAC, Alameda County Water Conservation District, Planting Justice, City of San Leandro, and Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority.