City Visions: What Does it Mean to Be a Resilient City?

Jan 7, 2015

No strangers to natural disasters, San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland have long been pioneering ways to rebound from earthquakes, floods, droughts and fires. But what does it mean to call ourselves “resilient,” and should we be doing more?  Host David Onek and guests take a look at the innovative ways the Bay Area is adapting not just to survive, but to prosper, in the wake of a natural disaster -- and how preparedness goes beyond a simple earthquake kit.

Guests:

-Daniel Homsey, director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network, a non-profit alliance dedicated to helping San Francisco neighborhoods steward themselves to a resilient condition

-Mary Comerio, professor at UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, where she specializes in seismic rehabilitation, disaster recovery and loss modeling, and author of “Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery

-Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director at SPUR, where she specializes in climate change and water management

Show excerpts: 

Daniel Homsey: "What can you do to prepare your neighborhood for a disaster? Throw a block party. Build relationships, trust, and reciprocity."

Mary Comerio: "FEMA is not a national 911...The national government is there to help the locals coordinate. It's not there to help you fix your house. You need to think about what your plan is."

Laura Tam: "We need to plan for at least a foot of sea level rise by mid-century."

Resources:

Rockefeller Foundation's Resilient Cities Challenge - San Francisco profile

Berkeley profile

Oakland profile

Meet San Francisco's Chief Resilience Officer, Patrick Otellini

SPUR report: "The Resilient City: Defining What San Francisco Needs from its Seismic Mitigation Policies"

Neighborhood Empowerment Network's Empowered Communities Program