Berkeley, California, is a small city facing some large-scale challenges. There are the environmental: the Hayward fault line runs straight through the city, and the California drought and the impending effects of sea level rise on the San Francisco Bay pose threats of fires and floods. And there are the social: despite its progressive history, socioeconomic and racial inequity persist in Berkeley, and have only been exacerbated by the regional tech boom.
These are not isolated challenges, says Timothy Burroughs, Berkeley’s chief resilience officer. Mirroring the thesis of John C. Mutter’s 2015 book, The Disaster Profiteers, “we know that social inequality corresponds to a greater vulnerability to structural and environmental threats,” Burroughs says. “So if our challenges are interconnected, our solution must be, too.”