In my architectural practice as the agency architect for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a regional transit agency, I carry immense responsibility for promoting good customer service and protecting public investment. Every decision we make in design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our infrastructure will face the test of its resiliency against disasters, such as earthquake, fire, drought, heatwave, storm, flood, and sea-level rise, as well as the pandemic. The building?? environment that we, Californian architects, create or shape has an immediate and lasting impact to our consumers’ lives and properties. I still remember vividly the horrific feelings during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The collapse of the highway and Bay Bridge had an immeasurable impact to the economy and quality of life of the entire Bay Area. Fortunately, BART was able to resume its service quickly after the quake to ferry commuters across the bay because BART was designed and constructed with a level of resiliency against the earthquake.
Three decades later, environmental threats have become more frequent. Today, as California’s coastal inundation increases, droughts escalate, forest fires increase and heatwaves intensify, Californians face unprecedented challenges in creating and maintaining sustainable and livable communities, continuing economic growth and striving for environmental justice.
It is in this context, the California Architects Board (Board) will consider the concerns of climate change and resiliency as we conduct our work by reaching out to stakeholders. We expect the outcomes from these meetings will inform our Board as we begin reviewing and revising our strategic plan later this year.