The City of San Francisco has appointed Ramboll on three framwork contracts to develop a comprehensive response to risks posed to the city by cloudbursts and sea level rise. The city expects the sea level, as a result of climate change, to rise by at least 11 inches by 2050.
San Francisco is, like many cities around the world, planning for a long and prosperous future. The city, like many coastal cities, is facing considerable threat from climate change and corresponding sea level rise. As part of the resilience and sustainable planning for the future, the city commissioned a Sea Level Rise Action Plan, which was released in March. The report highlights that the sea may be between 11 and 24 inches higher by 2050 than it is today, with storm surges and super tides adding additional inches of water to hold at bay. As it stands, the city may, in the low-ball case, without action, see up to $20 billion in private property and $35 billion in public property threatened by 2100.
As a way forward for the city, to meet the rising threat from climate change, San Fransisco – the city with the globe's best outlook according to A.T. Kearney, ahead of New York – has launched a Citywide Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan, which aims to have developed a strategic direction for the city as it faces both the risks, and the costs, of global change climate inaction.
The city recently launched a number of frameworks for planning services to develop climate resilience within the city. The frameworks are broad and cover among other things Strategic Planning, Resiliency Planning and Sustainability Planning to bolster the city from more intense rain events and higher tides from rising sea levels, as well as improving the city’s ageing sewage systems.
Principal at Ramboll Michael Keinath, who has led the qualification process, remarks, “This very exciting breakthrough is the culmination of dedicated hard work by colleagues from Environment & Health in the US, Ramboll Denmark, Ramboll Finland, Water in the US and Denmark, and the Liveable Cities Lab (LCL). It is a true ‘one company’ effort that demonstrates what we can achieve when we offer clients the full breadth of our expertise.” He adds that the framework contracts represent an "important milestone" in the company’s strategic focus on developing urban planning services in the US market.
Herbert Dreiseitl, Director of the firm’s Liveable Cities Lab, adds, “We had already been in talks with the local water utility about a potential project, and with the frameworks now in place it will be even more straightforward to access clients and pursue leads. In particular, we see great potential opportunities in the fields of climate adaptation, urban stormwater management and stream restoration, pedestrian and bicycle masterplans.”
In addition, Ramboll has been awarded a sub-consultant role, to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, on the Urban Design framework. The two deals build on the firm’s growing activity in the US – earlier this year New York engaged the firm to deliver a water climate mitigation study.