BARC has helped advance multiple projects that fall under the Resilient Bay Area and Carbon Free Future areas of work. These projects have been led, facilitated and/or supported by BARC staff, and have served as launch pads for expanded local and regional efforts.  BARC staff continues to track and monitor progress on projects that are ongoing and evolving, such as efforts underway in the 9 locations of the Bay Area Resilient by Design Challenge. Regarding Resilient by Design, BARC continues to stay connected and involved with partners at Rebuild by Design in the New York Region, as well as other national and international partners working to advance climate adaptation as a field of practice; able to respond to the changing climate conditions faced globally.

As an incubator of creative ideas and strategies advanced through collaborative partnerships, BARC has learned from these projects and is building upon them through our current projects.

Resilient Bay Area

Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (RbD) – BARC helped lead a year-long collaborative design challenge that brought together local residents, public officials and local, national and international experts to develop innovative community-based solutions that serve to strengthen our region’s resilience to sea level rise, flooding, severe storms and earthquakes.

The Rockefeller Foundation provided a significant grant to launch Resilient by Design in early 2017, impressed by the commitment of regional leaders to a proactive climate adaptation design challenge along with the demonstrated willingness of Bay Area voters to fund San Francisco Bay restoration through Measure AA in 2016. The Rebuild by Design project that followed Hurricane Sandy in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region, in 2012, served as a model to build from, with our two regions continuing to be connected through these companion efforts.

The exchange of knowledge, relationships built, and ideas generated by the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge have inspired, activated, and informed individuals and institutions throughout the region to take seriously the threat of climate change and to problem solve together to create a more resilient future. The regional momentum generated continues on as communities work together to build resilience, implement Resilient by Design-inspired projects and address sea level rise and climate change impacts around San Francisco Bay. BARC continues to track the progress of projects that emerged from the effort.

Progress Updates

Carbon Free Future

Building Decarbonization - Buildings are a leading generator of greenhouse gas emissions in Bay Area cities, and in most cases are the largest source of emissions that local governments have the ability to regulate. Buildings emit greenhouse gases primarily through the burning of natural gas for space and water heating. In addition to contributing to climate change, the use of natural gas for heating and cooking also poses a number of public safety and air quality risks to communities. In the summer of 2020, BARC partnered with the Building Decarbonization Coalition and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to launch the Clean Building Compass. The Clean Building Compass is an online clearinghouse of resources to assist local governments in developing and adopting building decarbonization policies.

West Oakland Community Air Protection – BARC staff participated in the development of this first-of-its-kind community-led emissions reduction strategy in West Oakland. This Plan emerged out of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Community Air Protection Program established by Assembly Bill 617 (C. Garcia, 2017). Regional air districts are tasked with assisting selected communities in developing air monitoring and emissions reduction plans. In the Bay Area, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), a BARC member agency, partnered with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, who managed the active involvement of many other local stakeholders to produce the West Oakland Community Action Plan. This important work will continue in other Bay Area communities disproportionally impacted by air pollution including Richmond-San Pablo, East Oakland and San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point.

Model Solar Ordinance Toolkit – On May 9, 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted 5-0 to require solar on all new homes starting January 1, 2020. California is the first state to take this bold action supporting our shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. In anticipation of their groundbreaking rule, the CEC developed a model solar ordinance and cost effectiveness analysis for cities that applies to new single-family and low-rise multifamily buildings. BARC partnered with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) to develop a toolkit designed to help cities across the Bay Area adopt the new CEC ordinance and move more quickly through the approval process. The customized information, data, templates and recommended language below was developed to help cities get started.