the City & the City

The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand.
-Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

2040, tax lots, India Basin.

Imagining the future as a relic of the past

“Inexorable”, Diego Rivera Gallery Exhibition
Photography: Drew Altizer, 2014

Handmade Artist’s Book, Installation

An 1868 map shows a submerged grid of streets and tax lots (still extant and taxed) across open water. Early on San Francisco planned to fill the shoreline and much of the Bay, but was stopped by activism in the 1960s. The parcel labelled Established on the map is the last area filled in 1971.

Sea level rise threatens coastal cities, yet development goes on despite accelerating projections. In San Francisco, new cities rise on the former Navy Shipyards of Hunter's Point and the wetlands of India Basin, the City’s last undeveloped area.

Recent studies suggest that building codes in coastal areas are inadequate. The observed rate of glacial melting means waters will rise faster and higher than current projections.

As of 2019, San Francisco’s updated development plan has adapted to current estimates of sea level rise.

All images ©2014 — 2019, Judith James. All rights reserved. dznjuju @