Resilient by Design

Bay Area Challenge

Innovative Youth Engagement 


Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge is a year-long collaborative design challenge to bring together local residents, public officials, and local, national, and international experts to develop community-based solutions to strengthen the Bay Area’s resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes. In 2017, Civic Ede joined the Collect and Connect - Resilient South City team led by international architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and urban design firm HASSELL.  


Civic Edge worked closely with HASSELL on the Colma Creek Connector, which aims to adapt and restore the creek’s native ecology, reduce flood risk, and create public access along the creek corridor to the waterfront. Our communications and engagement strategy began broadly, with outreach at local community events, and then shifted to focus on youth, a key project audience. Our team partnered with South San Francisco Parks and Recreation Summer Camp and developed tailored activities for kids grades 3-8. We led all aspects of the youth engagement, from crafting the approach to brainstorming the materials and leading the groups in resiliency art and other interactive activities.

Quick Shift to Digital 

With the start of the pandemic, our team quickly pivoted to digital to continue engagement and find new outlets to make materials available. The team wrote and illustrated a children’s storybook called “Christina Lives By a Beautiful Creek” highlighting project themes, lessons and instilling a sense of environmental stewardship. It also includes Colma Creek themed worksheets, games, and coloring pages. The book was translated into Spanish, Filipino, and Chinese, with free hard copies available by request through social media. A recorded video of City Council Member Mark Nagalas reading the book to his children amplified the prominence of the book. Several key partners also requested copies to distribute within their communities, including Mission Blue Nursery, San Bruno Mountain Watch, South San Francisco Parks and Recreation, South San Francisco library, South San Francisco Mother’s Club, San Mateo Boys and Girls Club, and local schools.

By the Numbers

  • 2 in-person Summer Camp sessions using VR to show various creek water levels 
  • Distributed over 350 books to families and organizations 
  • 3 videos of community leaders reading the book to children

Project Expertise

  • Equity engagement
  • Multilingual, culturally competent community outreach and engagement
  • Collateral and materials development
  • Innovative outreach 
  • Youth Engagement