By Alissa Greenberg

“Our work is 50 percent working with young people and 50 percent working with adults to understand how they need to work with young people,” says Deborah McKoy, Executive Director of Y-Plan, an educational arm of the UC Berkeley Center for Cities + Schools. Y-Plan has partnered with Resilient by Design to create a parallel challenge eliciting youth perspectives on complex issues surrounding sea level rise. At UC Berkeley’s Alumni House, students from twelve Bay Area schools gave presentations to a panel of government representatives like Daniel Hamilton, Oakland’s Sustainability Manager. He feels that kids can actually be easier to work with than adults: “Local government tends to operate in silos, but big issues like climate are silo-busting. Kids do this naturally.” McKoy and Hamilton met this spring to talk about how to continue to engage with Bay Area students. “This is a chance to be heard by a lot of smart people with power,” says Gwenyth Adam of Skyline High School. “We don’t get that very often.”

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Making Youth Perspectives Count Beyond Educational Exercise

By Alissa Greenberg

“Our work is 50 percent working with young people and 50 percent working with adults to understand how they need to work with young people,” says Deborah McKoy, Executive Director of Y-Plan, an educational arm of the UC Berkeley Center for Cities + Schools. Y-Plan has partnered with Resilient by Design to create a parallel challenge eliciting youth perspectives on complex issues surrounding sea level rise. At UC Berkeley’s Alumni House, students from twelve Bay Area schools gave presentations to a panel of government representatives like Daniel Hamilton, Oakland’s Sustainability Manager. He feels that kids can actually be easier to work with than adults: “Local government tends to operate in silos, but big issues like climate are silo-busting. Kids do this naturally.” McKoy and Hamilton met this spring to talk about how to continue to engage with Bay Area students. “This is a chance to be heard by a lot of smart people with power,” says Gwenyth Adam of Skyline High School. “We don’t get that very often.”

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Resilent by Design Bay Area Challenge

The Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (2017-2018) invited nine teams to design innovative shoreline adaptations to rising sea levels at nine sites around the San Francisco Estuary. The visions provided by this pre-disaster challenge — modeled on the post-disaster Rebuild by Design challenge in New York that followed superstorm Sandy — are powerful, silo-crossing conversation starters for a region now working to prepare low-lying communities, creeks, habitats, and infrastructure for a bigger Bay.