Why We Need Measure R
The City of Berkeley is deeply committed to sustainability and addressing climate change. As our infrastructure ages, we need a plan to make sure our streets, sidewalks, sewer systems and buildings are resilient enough to handle a growing population and climate change, including sea-level rise, more flooding and wildfires.
We must also make sure that this new integrated infrastructure system is environmentally and financially sustainable, and that it utilizes the latest technology so that our city can be prepared in the decades to come.
To achieve this, Mayor Arreguin has launched Vision 2050, a citizen-led effort to develop a framework for a 30-year sustainable infrastructure plan. After an 18-month planning period, this task force made up of four working groups – Quality of Life, Environment, Technology and Finance Management – will provide a report to city staff on existing conditions, best practices, community feedback and recommendations for moving forward. The information in this report will be used to guide the plan development and implementation of climate-smart, technologically-advanced, integrated and efficient infrastructure.
A truly resilient Berkeley will not possible without the advancement of racial equity, as outlined in the city’s award-winning Resiliency Strategy. An equitable community engagement process is critical to reaching the goal of making our city more livable, healthy and safe for all of our residents. Through Vision 2050, we are hoping to foster a larger discussion about the kind of city we hope to have in the future, and the steps we can take together today to get there.
In July 2018, the City Council unanimously voted to put Advisory Measure R for the development of Vision 2050 on the ballot in November. This advisory measure, similar to how Advisory Measure G led to the development of the Berkeley Climate Action Plan, would be a first step for the city to integrate the development of Vision 2050 into staff workplans, and build upon Task Force recommendations.
Infrastructure and Why It’s Important to Berkeley
Much of Berkeley’s infrastructure – streets, roads, sidewalks, storm drains, parks, public buildings, the marina and waterfront – was built more than 70 years ago during the Works Projects Administration and is approaching the end of its lifespan. Aging infrastructure, in combination with exponentially worsening predictions of climate change impacts, could have serious consequences for Berkeley residents' future.
The $100 million-dollar Measure T1 General Obligation Bond, approved by voters on November 8, 2016, is already at work and being used to repair or replace aging infrastructure and facilities. While Measure T1 will address multiple infrastructure needs we face today, we need to prepare for growing climate change risks in the future, including rising sea levels, flooding and year-round wildfires. Doing so requires a plan that is resilient, adaptable, and takes into account emerging technologies and new materials.