With forecasts predicting a rise of 16 inches or more by 2050, the planners of a waterfront project are making adjustments, according to SFGate:
While skeptics do their best to ignore our ever-more-tumultuous weather patterns, planners in coastal settings already are coping with the sea level rise that might result from climate change.
Look no further than San Francisco’s Embarcadero and the saga of Brannan Street Wharf, an acre-plus public park that recently began construction and will open next year between piers 32 and 38.
When the conceptual design was approved in 2003, the idea was to slope the triangular plaza down toward the water. Then the $25 million project was put on hold for lack of funds until 2009 - and when preparations resumed, the Port of San Francisco took into account scientific forecasts showing that water levels in the bay could rise 16 inches, or more, by 2050.
There’s still a raised green in the final version, and a kayak launch; the difference is that the outer path now will climb gently from the Embarcadero as much as 12 inches. The perimeter railing, meanwhile, is designed so that the lower foot is solid.
“The alterations that were made are an example of how we’re approaching a number of downtown waterfront projects,” said Dan Hodapp, a port planner and the wharf’s designer. “When you look at the studies being done, you need to start thinking longer-term.”
Brannan Street Wharf is scheduled to open in June, before the America’s Cup.