Calthorpe's Saltworks: Is it Smart Growth?

The Redwood City Saltworks development designed by Peter Calthorpe has taken a lot of flack from environmentalists -- and rightfully so, says John Parman, in particular for its susceptibility to potentially rising bay waters from global warming.
December 9, 2010, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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The project is being developed by agribusiness giant Cargill and LA developer DMB. Parman notes that the site - 1,435 acres of salt flats reaching into the San Francisco Bay - is a sort of greenfield, unlike potential sites in Oakland, for example, that already have infrastructure in place. Calthorpe, on the other hand, calls the site "a factory without a roof", and the proposal would restore some of the site as marshlands.

Parman writes, "Then there's the inconvenient matter of climate change. Redwood Shores is the product of another era's thinking. Its most recent addition, Pacific Shores, was approved more than 20 years ago. Last year, the California Climate Adaptation Strategy report from California's Natural Resources Agency made it clear that new development in areas subject to sea-level rise is a really bad idea. In June, the Army Corps of Engineers also weighed in, finding that Saltworks needs a permit under the U.S. Clean Water Act of 1972. That's a big hurdle. Is Redwood City paying attention?"

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Published on Thursday, December 9, 2010 in The Architect's Newspaper
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