Faculty Research
Date: 2018-current
Principal Investigator: Janette Kim

Resilient Equity Hubs (REHBS) is a speculative design proposal that imagines collective ownership and management of land to better support social equity and resilience. This idea initially emerged in collaboration with The All Bay Collective, in the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (2017-18)

Stewart Brand, in his “Shearing Layers” diagram, famously unpacks the incremental manner in which buildings change over time. The duration of a site is “eternal,” while a structure might last 300+ years and its skin and space plan just a few decades or years. If we apply Brand’s diagram to the city, and its sidewalks, infrastructure, and the utilities, we can see that these complex systems not only have their own period of change, but a tangled web of ownership, maintenance, regulation, and other forms of interest across publics, governments, and utilities. So the question of how things will change in the face of sea level rise is fundamentally tied to ownership, which is then tied to political power.

Shown here is a set of five REHBs proposals each envisioned by pairing an altered “Shearing Layer” with with accompanying speculative design scenario. Each scheme asks: How might different forms of ownership redistribute risk? How can we re-spatialize ownership?

Project Credits: Janette Kim/Urban Works Agency, with Clare Hačko and Cesar Lopez.