On Solid Ground

How good land use planning can prepare the Bay Area for a strong disaster recovery
SPUR Report
February 6, 2013

When a major earthquake strikes the Bay Area, it could take months to reestablish essential services and years to rebuild. Successful recovery will depend on whether or not we make good land use planning decisions now. Local jurisdictions that lay the groundwork for rebuilding — by continuously updating their general plans and zoning codes before a major disaster — will be in a much better place to begin a conversation with residents about a recovery vision. By understanding local earthquake hazards and addressing them before the next disaster, we can reduce the amount of damage our cities will face and the amount of rebuilding that will be needed. And by making needed regulatory changes now, governments will have the tools they need to facilitate recovery. On Solid Ground provides recommendations for work to be done before the next earthquake occurs, as well as important steps to take afterwards, as we begin to rebuild.

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About the Authors: 

The SPUR Board of Directors reviewed, debated and adopted this report as official policy on November 14, 2012.

On Solid Ground is generously supported by the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI)

SPUR staff: Sarah Karlinksky

Land Use Planning and Rebuilding Task Force:
Christopher Barkley, URS Corporation*
Jack Boatwright, U.S. Geological Survey
Dana Brechwald, Association of Bay Area Governments
Ngai-Chi Chung, Degenkolb Engineers*
Mary Comerio, University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Dennis-Phillips, San Francisco Planning Department
Ilene Dick, Farella, Braun and Martel
Laura Dwelley-Samant, Consultant
Caroline Guibert, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass
Micah Hilt, Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, City and
County of San Francisco
Danielle Hutchings Mieler, Association of Bay Area Governments*
Charles Eadie, Principal Associate at Hamilton Swift Land Use*
Catherine Firpo, City of Emeryville
Kate Gillespie, AICP*
Alicia Johnson, San Francisco Department of Emergency
Management
Laurie Johnson, Laurie Johnson Consulting | Research**
Laurence Kornfield, Earthquake Safety Implementation Program,
City and County of San Francisco
Keith Knudsen, U.S. Geological Survey
Jacinta McCann, AECOM
Jason Ortego, University of California
Chris Poland, Degenkolb Engineers
Catherine Reilly, Successor Agency to the San Francisco
Redevelopment Agency
Kay Vasilyeva, San Francisco Department of Emergency
Management
* Subcommittee Chair
** Land Use Planning and Rebuilding Task Force Chair


Special thanks to those individuals who provided their time and
expertise to support this project: Daniel Adams, Mike Buhler, Anna
Gore, Jerry Ramiza, Mark Shorett and Michael Tymoff.