Culture And Society FIRST PRIZE B
Work title: India Basin Urban Waterfront // generating urban landscapes through metropolitan scale exchanges
India Basin Urban Waterfront is a serious re-thinking of planning in terms of its funding strategies, especially in face of austerity and declining State investment. Addressing a post-industrial waterfront as an opportunity for a large-scale public space operation, it addresses the impact of two main approaches to design thinking in this new economical landscape. On one hand, it integrates long-term ecological gains through minimal carbon production, green infrastructures, energy efficiency, and habitat reconstruction. On the other hand, it adopts financial strategies such as the capture of local waste materials, mitigations from off-site impacts, and revenues from real estate and storm-water treatment facilities. While it doesn’t dispense with money, the proposal certainly considers how to achieve a better management of existing resources in turning a post-industrial site into a space of leisure for general use.
A New Space for Exchange: The India Basin Urban Waterfront will be a regional destination and complete the missing link in a 13-mile long open space system in San Francisco, California. Responding to an era of austerity in governments and public works, the project creates a robust urban design vision and funding approach for a postindustrial waterfront in a rapidly developing district. This project will be the largest public investment in open space the City of San Francisco has undertaken in 40 years.
Strategies for Stimulating Exchange: Composed of alternative funding mechanisms that generate revenue and saving streams, the planning strategy devises a new framework for acquiring, funding, building, and maintaining a legacy urban waterfront. Four economic strategies for planning the waterfront developed.
1) Leverage the time and space assets of the existing site.
2) Capture fees and mitigations from off-site impacts of other projects.
3) Capture waste material streams from infrastructure projects in the region.
4) Generate revenues and fees from on-site real estate and storm water treatment infrastructure.
Each strategy carries site planning requirements and when executed, they result in a revenue stream or a savings to the built project. They also imply a sequence of events that adapts to variables and different scenarios for the project timing. In total, the strategies and sequence of the project doubles as an approach to large scale sustainability.
Applied to the India Basin Urban Waterfront, the forces, funding, and material sources capture flows on a metropolitan scale. The approach involves locally procuring materials, capturing embodied energy and material reuse, building green infrastructure systems, restoring habitats, and minimizing carbon production in construction. The embodied energy from local material flows produce efficient arrangements and sequencing throughout the project’s lifespan that merge varied forms of exchange in this legacy waterfront.
Resulting Ecology & Program: Generating and arranging the spaces, surfaces, and materials of a large urban landscape through forces of exchange implies a different sequence and timeline for construction than typical profit motive developments. It takes time, it is built in stages, it is more loose, and potentially messy. The inherent formal and temporal character to this strategy implies an ecological program and identity that is rugged and comparatively wild to the surrounding urban context.
The corresponding programs to this landscape are equally wild, boisterous, and large scale activities not permitted anywhere else in the city: mountain biking, hiking, parkour, cross training courses, fencing, archery, large group picnic sites, exercise circuits, bon fire pits, environmental scale sculpture, boat launches, an aquatic dog park, orchards and tree nurseries, sheep pens and chicken coops, coniferous forests, serpentine grasslands, brackish marshes, and bird islands. Radically different and dynamic, the India Basin waterfront will be a distinct destination with greater economic potential in the form of increased visitors, concessions, and land values.