Public Sediment - Research Phase

CCA Faculty Adam MarcusMargaret Ikeda, and Evan Jones in collaboration with SCAPE Landscape Architecture, Arcadis, Dredge Research Collaborative, UC Davis, Cy Keener, and TS Studio

Public Sediment is one of ten projects selected for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge, a design competition that brings together local residents, public officials, and local, national and international experts to develop innovative solutions to the issues brought on by climate change in the Bay Area.

Public Sediment proposes to invest in ecological infrastructure and its protective value. Yet the Bay area’s ecological infrastructure—its marshes, mudflats, and coastal edges—are at risk. The slow and methodical subsidence of the Bay’s tidal wetlands is a catastrophe of tremendous proportion not just for ecosystems, but for communities. Combined with sea level rise, this subsidence exposes hundreds of thousands of residents and the region’s critical drinking water, energy, and transportation infrastructure to tremendous risk. To creatively adapt to this challenge, our team proposes to focus on sediment, the building block of resilience in the Bay.

Public Sediment proposes to actively intervene in this ecological transformation by designing with mud. We propose to connect the uplands and the lowlands with a series of sediment actions. We will harvest and retrofit dams, unlock tributary channels, and test new methods of mud placement that use currents to effectively move sediment in the Bay. But this is not enough. We must make sediment public. To do this, we propose a series of connective paths, outdoor floating mud rooms, and sensing stations, that link vulnerable neighborhoods with the Bay and engage youth in monitoring of the environment—visualizing climate change in their backyards.

We propose three scales of Public Sediment, each framing a distinct action to catalyze social and ecological resilience, with mud, in the Bay. These projects are called: Pilots for a Future Baythe Bay Cushion, and Unlock Alameda Creek.

For more info on the final design proposal that Public Sediment presented at the conclusion of the competition, see this link.


Project Credits & Collaborators:
Buoyant Ecologies / AEL Team: Adam Marcus, Margaret Ikeda, Evan Jones, Georine Pierre
SCAPE Landscape Architecture (team lead)
The Dredge Research Collaborative
TS Studio
UC Davis Department of Human Ecology and Design
UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
Cy Keener