tv Earth Focus LINKTV July 5, 2020 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
narrator: on thihis episode of "earth focus," two cities-- freetown, sierra leone, and san francisco, california-- continents apart, vastly different culturally and economically, yet facing the same struggle to adapt to rapid urbanization, all set against the backdrop of a dramatitically changing climimate. [film advance clilicking]
narrator: while freetown residents fight for acccountability, in san francisco, climate change isn't debabated as mucuch as it's mitigateded. billions of dollars are pouring into the bay area, but is tech-driven development prepared for a sea level that's rising? scholl: san francisco is experiencing a tremendous building boom and has been for the last 5 years.
tam: we have ucsf hospital. we have the warriors coming. we have a bunch of new apartment buildings. scholl: you have corporate headquarters of facebook, google, microsoft. christensen: we realize we live in such an amazing place with so much creativity and innovation. i'm excited when i see the young people in the tech industry all overer town, allll over the e by area commuting backck and forth. there's an energy here. renteria: in mission bay, everyone pretty much works in tech, working on the next start-up. woman: i have 3 cappuccinos for here.
renteria: i'll do a coffee. ok. thanks. i'm considered a millennial. we kind of are free spirits, and we don't believe so much in just full-time gigs. i work in social media marketing, so it's definitely a new industry. a lot of people don't quite understand it, but i run social for a living. the really cool thing about a job in social media or just tech is that you can work remotely. coffee shops are free. yes, san francisco is really expensive. there is no other place like san francisco where you're going to have access to the technology, to the communities, to just the people working in the industry. it's just one of a kind, and it's totally worth it. i sold my car, and i pretty much walk everywhere now, and i got rid of a lot of stuff, and i live in a very small apartment , but it's totally worth it just to have access to everything. yay. cheers.
>> cheers. renteria: i just learned abouout the sea level rising, ad i didn't know aboutut that before we moved herere. does it cononcern me? yes, because i eventually want to buy property here and have a family here, but i didn't know about that, and i'm not too informed,d, so it's not something thatat i'm really too coconcerned about r right now. i am scared now, though, learning that that's a possssibility. christensen: people under 40 living here in the bay area today are very, very likely to see unprecedented annunual flooding around the bay in ththeir lifetimes. jacob: it't's ining to be fantastiic in a city that t is so vital and known for its innovation that we're gogoing to be able to build this great v venue here. christensen: a lot of these new buildings by the end of the
century, including the golden state warriors' new arena, would have the ground floors at least potentially flooded or basement paparking flooded. the warriors arena is, you know, contemplating maybe someday putting in flood gates so that their garages don't flood. they're thinking of raising pedestrian access so that it would be out of the water. san francisco itself, you know, built a seawall in the late 1800s to protect itself and this new land that had been created. you know, right now, san francisco is looking at spending $5 billion to repair and reinforce that seawall for another century. scholl: the areas that have been
the leleast developed historicay are the marginal lands around the bay, some of which are salt flats. others are abandoned piers, and they're being rehabilitated because there's basically no place else in the bay area to build, and they're being built upon as quickly as possssible by moststly megacorporations that are trying to maximize their value by building very expensive developments. to me, it feels like sort of climate denial light. we found in 2015 that about $21 billion's worth of development was happening right in that coastal zone. there is a tremendous amount of money to be made to develop in those areas. by the year 2100, we found, there's a threat that sea level rise could, on a really bad day, flood land all around the bay exactly where most of the waterfront development is happening, and then they're going to have to figure out how to invest public dollars to protect what we're
building right now. tam: mission bay was once a bay. it was an inlet of the bay. it was marshy and brackish and kind of shallow. mission bay is finally getting built after many, many years of planning and agreements around infrastructure. there are some really important institutions that are there now, new commercial buildings, as well. it's an area that is rapidly becoming a part of the urban fabric of san francisco where it really was once seen as, like, a strange and unoccupied place, but, because we planned it in an era before we were thinking of sea level rise, it's also very low-lying, and it's one of the city's more vulnerable places to future sea level rise. scholl: the problem is that the land is so valuable because it's now land. development companies couldn't not build there. there were billions of dollars in real estate to be had, but they built it in probably one of the worst places they could have.
it was a bay in the past, and it most likely will be a bay in the future. tam: we picked this part of the shoreline for a study around design concepts for future sea levelel rise because it's the lowest lying area o on the eastern w waterfront. it's the place that's goingng to flood firirst, and so we e thout it was the right place to spark a conversation around what are design alternatives or choices thaat we can make in thehe futue atat the mouthth of missioion ccreek near r at&t park.k. we'll have a a really bebeautifl public space that people might not even realize is designed for flood protection. ideally, we would have wetland habitat and parks and a place where peoplple can accecess the. we want to have a lot of commercial activity in our city. we want more housing. we definitely need more affordable housing to solvee some of the bay area's biggest challenges, but alongside that, we have to do something about future sea level rise. ideally, we'll have a lot of people enjoying the waterfroont, and during storm events, we'll have some kind of way of
protecting people through some kind of barrier or just because we have shallowed the channel in some way that makes it no longer super threatening when there's a super high tide. herrrera: the science is undeniablele. climamate change is altering our planet,t, placing many of our communities at risk. we must prepare for a future that directly confronts these changes. the defendants are chevron, exxon, bp, shell, and conoco phillips. these funds will be used to pay for seawalls and other infrastructure needed to deal with sea level rise. we have some real risk that's going to require some billions and billions of dollllars of investment by san francisco on infrastructure if we'rere gog to stop catastrophic loss, so that's what we're lookingng at. a lot of our developments are occurring along the waterfront. our lawsuit is a part of that. i want to have this abatementt fund that has beenen created now
to ensure that we can fund the infrastructure improvements that we're going to need to ensure that those developments go forward without the threat of sea level rise. scholl: politics in san francisco i is funny. there are a a lot of really enlightened views. on the other hand, it's probably not enough to prevent the business community from making things even worse right on the waterfront. christensen: we're going to have to adapt. it's going to take that creativity and energy and capital. the question of how do we balance that economic development, the investment in protecting it, with the needs of people and the environment is one that, you know, we're going to find ourselves
[mikael colville-andersen] i first came to bangkok in the early 1990's as an impressionable young backpacker. the city fulfilled absolutely every expectation i had about a noisy, crazy, non-stop asian city should be like. absolutely every urban challenge faced by cities around the world is amplified here in bangkok. this country is run by a military dictatorship who's also trying to influence urban development and urban planning. there are very few examples from history where that story has a happy ending. this series is about finding the life-sized pockets of goodness in cities around the world. there's still a refreshing insane madneness to this place. outside of the comfort zone of this amazing market