waves splashing against a pier
Credit: Dave R / Flicker CC BY-NC 2.0
Citywide

Safety and Resilience Element

A part of the General Plan Updates

The Planning Department is updating the Safety and Resilience Element (formerly the Community Safety Element) to strengthen its support of racial and social equity, environmental justice, climate mitigation, and climate adaptation. As the climate crisis worsens and disasters strike, disproportionate burdens are suffered by increasing numbers of vulnerable people.

The Safety and Resilience Element Update will provide a comprehensive set of policies for minimizing San Francisco’s contribution to the climate crisis and ensuring local resilience to multiple hazards. It will help protect the people and assets of San Francisco, especially areas and communities that face higher vulnerability to disasters. Communities of color and other vulnerable neighborhoods are often hurt first and worst in any disaster, and struggle more to recover.

The Element was last updated in October 2012 with enhanced policies for disaster preparedness and longer-term resilience. It is particularly focused on seismic issues and contains four goals: mitigation, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery and reconstruction.

Since then, there has been progress in the policies, approaches, and tools for ensuring community safety from natural, climate-induced, and human-made hazards.

This update will comply with California State Senate Bill 379 (Jackson, 2016) ensuring consistency between the Safety and Resilience Element and the City’s local hazard mitigation plan (2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan). It will also comply with Senate Bill 1000 (Leyva, 2016) directives around environmental justice and be closely coordinated with the City’s Climate Action Plan.

The proposed updates include two additional goals on equitable community safety and climate resilience. In order to achieve these goals, policies will be developed for racial and social equity, environmental justice, and resilience to multiple hazards that also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. These issues will also be integrated throughout the existing four goals as the existing content is refined for gaps and clarity. 

Timeline for Community Safety Element
      2021 2022
2019 2020 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Engagement Workshop: Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan Workshop: Climate Action Plan General Plan Virtual Events Briefings with Community-Based Organizations Final Review    
  Tribal Consultation
Milestones   Policy Framework Policy Language  
Review               Environmental Review  
Adoption               Policy Adoption (pending Env Review)

Project Resources

Interagency Coordination

This work is supported by ClimateSF, a comprehensive, multi-agency effort to guide San Francisco’s climate resilience. ClimateSF champions a unified City vision on climate resilience and streamlines City responses, to promote an equitable, safe, and healthy city for generations to come. 

The Safety and Resilience Element Update will be consistent with two key City implementation plans, the Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan (local hazard mitigation plan) and Climate Action Plan (climate action strategy). Together, these three documents provide a vision and direction for San Francisco’s climate resilient future through comprehensive planning, longer-range policies, and nearer-term strategies and actions.  

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

Community Review of the Safety & Resilience Element: Spring 2022 Draft

The feedback collected during community review will be incorporated into the revised Summer 2022 Draft. Share your feedback by Friday, May 20, 2022!

Attend Hearings

Stay tuned for details to join the commission hearings and share public comment, Summer 2022!

Other Opportunities

Past Events

DATE DETAILS
February 18, 2021 SF Department of the Environment – Climate Action Plan Workshop
Topic: Climate and Resilience
March 16, 2021 General Plan Virtual Events – Safety and Resilience Element Workshop
Guest Speaker: Adrienne Bechelli, Department of Emergency Management
March 25, 2021 General Plan Virtual Events – Safety and Resilience Element Workshop
Guest Speaker: Brian Strong, Office of Resilience and Capital Planning
June 30, 2021 Briefing: Resilient District 7
July 27, 2021 Briefing: San Francisco Village
September 1, 2021 Briefing: Bayview Hunters Point Community Advisory Committee (Bayview CAC)
September 14, 2021 Briefing: Oceanview, Merced Heights, and Ingleside (OMI) Collaborative
September 15, 2021 Briefing: Bayview Environmental Justice Task Force
September 16, 2021 Briefing: Visitacion Valley Community Unity
September 27, 2021 Briefing: Resilient District 10
October 27, 2021 Listening Session: Neighborhood Empowerment Network, HUB Leadership
November 15, 2021 Briefing: Market/Octavia Community Advisory Committee (MO CAC)
November 16, 2021 Briefing: Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates
November 23, 2021 Briefing: Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC)
December 21, 2021 Briefing: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
February 15, 2022 Briefing: Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the San Francisco General Plan?
The General Plan provides a comprehensive set of objectives and policies that influence how we live, work, and move about, as well as the quality and character of the City. The General Plan reflects community values and priorities through its public adoption process, ensuring both private development and public action conform to this vision. The General Plan helps shape our daily lives, respond to today’s big challenges, and lead us to a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy future that enables all San Franciscans to thrive.

What is the Safety and Resilience Element?
The Safety and Resilience Element is a comprehensive set of policies for minimizing San Francisco’s contribution to the climate crisis and ensuring local resilience to multiple hazards. It helps protect the people and assets of San Francisco, especially areas and communities that face higher vulnerability to disasters.

What does the Safety and Resilience Element do – and not do?
The Safety and Resilience Element influences how the City prepares, responds to, and recovers from all hazards. It also influences how the people and assets of San Francisco become more resilient. As a policy document, the Safety and Resilience Element guides city decisions and actions, such as funding programs and regulating development.

There are three key implementing documents that work in partnership with the Safety and Resilience Element, each with their own specific set of strategies:

  1. The 2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan, led by the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning, is a climate adaptation plan that responds to all hazards.
  2. The 2021 Climate Action Plan, led by SF Environment, is a climate mitigation plan that reduces the City’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. The 2017 Emergency Response Plan, led by the Department of Emergency Management, is an all-hazards response and restoration plan for the coordination, roles, and responsibilities of responding agencies during a major emergency or disaster.

What’s different about the Safety and Resilience Element Update?
The Safety Element was last updated in 2012 to strengthen policies for disaster preparedness and long-term resilience, particularly seismic issues. The current element contains four goals: mitigation, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery and reconstruction.

Over the past ten years, there have been advancements in the field across natural, climate-induced, and human-made hazards and approaches to safety and resilience. The experience of disaster is becoming more frequent and intense. Communities of color and other vulnerable neighborhoods are often hurt first and worst in any disaster, and struggle more to recover. The major events of the past few years—pandemic, social unrest, and wildfire season—have provided additional spotlight to current gaps in the Safety Element.

Why is the Safety and Resilience Element Update required?
This update will comply with:

  • California State Senate Bill 379 (Jackson, 2016) ensuring consistency between the Safety Element and the City’s local hazard mitigation plan (2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan);
  • California State Senate Bill 1000 (Leyva, 2016) directives around environmental justice in the General Plan;
  • Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission Resolutions to incorporate racial and social equity into the General Plan; and,
  • be closely coordinated with the City’s Climate Action Plan.

How will the Safety and Resilience Element Update respond to COVID-19?
The Safety and Resilience Element includes policies for how the city prepares for, responds to, and mitigates all hazards, including the pandemic. We worked closely with the City’s COVID Command Center, Department of Public Health, and Department of Emergency Management to develop policies that integrate lessons learned from the pandemic.

Why is it important that I participate in the Safety and Resilience Element Update?
Your input will help shape San Francisco’s climate and resilience priorities! To make sure these policies and programs are inclusive and represent the values and ideas of our city’s diverse population, we want to hear from as many San Francisco residents and community members as possible. Your input will guide the development of key ideas, policies, and implementation programs to ensure an equitable, resilient, and sustainable future for San Francisco.

How can I get more information on hazards that impact me and my community?
The 2020 Hazards and Climate Resilience Plan created a StoryMap to highlight the hazards threatening San Francisco’s communities and how hazards relate to the climate crisis. Explore the StoryMap.

Other City climate resilience resources.

How can I participate in the Safety and Resilience Element Update?
While SF Planning intended to host a variety of in-person outreach events, due to safety concerns related to COVID-19, we will utilize efforts that require no in-person tools or tactics.