Capital Planning and the Future of Cities

Resiliency and sustainability are words you frequently hear in San Francisco. Resiliency involves the ability and speed with which we can respond to and recover from a natural, economic or other type of disaster. Think seismic retrofits, disaster mitigation efforts, stronger building code, preserving a diverse economy and more. Sustainability, on the other hand, looks at how we manage our resources and preserve what makes San Francisco such an incredible place to live and work. Think green technology, affordable housing, alternate modes of transportation, reduction in green house gases, water conservation, etc….  

On the surface, the two concepts can seem at odds: one relates to the ability to act fast and efficiently; the other refers to long-term stewardship. What you don’t hear too often is how these two concepts are inextricably linked. That was the focus of a well attended lunch time discussion sponsored by ONESF with Steve Moddemeyer of CollinsWoerman. Steve is a former planner with the City of Seattle who is now leading the global Cities of the Future effort for the International Water Association.

In his presentation, Steve shared real life examples from the United States, Asia and Europe of how resiliency and sustainability need to be considered together when planning ‘cities of the future’. His examples include semi-autonomous buildings that rely on on-site renewable resources and watersheds-turned-parks, among others. These types of projects not only increase a community’s capacity to recover from sudden and long-term change, but also create beautiful space that people love. To see some very cool project examples or to learn more about Steve’s vision for planning the ‘future city’ check-out his presentation here: S. Moddemeyer Presentation – Resilience as a Framework for Sustainability