EPA is releasing reports from two technical assistance projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, one on integrating resilience to natural hazards into land use planning and the other on planning for district-scale energy. Both describe processes and strategies that other communities could use as models for their own efforts.
• Many of the areas designated for growth in the San Francisco Bay Area are at risk from earthquakes and sea level rise. In a major disaster, homes in the region will likely be seriously damaged and residents displaced. EPA worked with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to incorporate resilience to natural hazards and climate change into regional and local land use planning and implementation. EPA's team provided input on a regionwide vulnerability assessment for high-growth areas, developed strategies to reduce vulnerabilities to sea level rise and earthquakes in planned high-growth areas, and compiled the process into a guidance document ABAG is using to help communities throughout the Bay Area. Read the report: Creating Safe Growth Strategies for the San Francisco Bay Area.
• District-scale energy systems provide heating and cooling from a central utility plant to individual buildings across a neighborhood or district. In addition to supplying energy to communities, businesses, and individuals, these systems can save money, encourage new development in existing neighborhoods, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EPA helped the city of San Francisco explore how the public sector could encourage district-scale energy systems that meet multiple community goals. The report from this project presents a four-phase process to help communities understand the options for, and benefits of, establishing district-scale energy systems in compact, mixed-use areas. Read the report: District-Scale Energy Planning: Smart Growth Implementation Assistance to the City of San Francisco.