Housing and Community Risk


Project Overview

The San Francisco Bay Area is vulnerable to a number of hazards, including ground shaking, liquefaction and landslides from earthquakes, flooding, extreme storm events, wildland fires, high heat and drought. The consequences of these hazards are particularly significant for residential land uses. The vulnerability of the region’s existing housing and limitations on the capacity to recover are weak links in our regional resilience. To increase regional resilience, long-range community plans must not only consider and plan for the hazards faced by existing housing, but future housing as well.

The goal of this project is to help the region meet smart growth, resilience, sustainability, prosperity, and equity goals by developing strategies to strengthen existing housing and communities and plan smartly for future housing.

This project is a joint effort between the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s Adapting to Rising Tides project and ABAG’s Resilience Program.

Project Outcomes

This project identified areas in the region where housing and at-risk communities, separately or in combination, may be vulnerable to natural hazards, particularly sea level rise and earthquakes. The project focused on housing both within and outside of the Priority Development Areas (PDAs) identified in Plan Bay Area, adopted in July 2013. Based on this understanding of risks, we identified a suite of planning, mitigation, and adaptation strategies that can be used to improve the resilience of existing and future housing. A summary of outcomes is below:

  • A suite of vulnerability indicators that characterize housing vulnerability, community vulnerability, and hazards due to earthquakes and sea level rise developed with input from our Advisory Committee
  • Fragile Housing Map
  • Communities at Risk Map
  • Communities at Risk in Fragile Housing Map
  • Recommended strategies that incorporate best practices of hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and smart growth strategies developed with input from the Advisory Committee and other regional stakeholders (forthcoming)
  • A summary report that synthesizes the data, methods, outcomes, and best practices for building regional resilience through joint mitigation, adaptation, smart growth actions (forthcoming)

Regional input was solicited through a Project Advisory Committee and a series of stakeholder Workshops that began in February 2014 and were completed in August 2014.

Past meeting Agendas, Minutes, and Presentations

  • December 5, 2013 – Advisory Committee
Agenda | Presentation | Handout
  • March 12, 2014 – Advisory Committee
Agenda | Presentation
  • April 21, 2014 – Strategy Development Workshop #1
Agenda | Presentation | Handout
  • August 26, 2014 – Strategy Development Workshop #2
Agenda | Presentation | Handouts

This project is generously funded by a grant from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, The US EPA, FEMA, and the Strategic Growth Council and will be completed in Winter 2014.

Last modified: 03.13.2015