Urbanization Analysis, Green Options and Global Warming


There is strong evidence to suggest that human beings are behind the rise in global warming, though the question on the best way forward remains controversial. Economics, sociology and other related field like politics have proved to be relevant factors when it comes to planning for the future. However, stopping the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) does not mean that the Earth will stop warming; the warming will continue by other significant units. Despite the above sentiments by geologists, the steps taken by human beings from today can be of great significance in making a big difference. A common goal suggested by scholars is stabilizing the concentration of GHG from a figure of 450-550 parts in every million, as well as twice the pre-industrial levels. This is the best point for adopting the notion that humans can get rid of the highly damaging climatic impacts. On that note, this paper provides a review of the key practical needs of California; an urban society, and how they are being met today. This will stretch to giving a helping hand to the city leadership plan a recommended changeover to greener products and processes.

Geology of San Francisco, California

Physical Description

The region has twelve geomorphic provinces, with each having an entirely different origin from the rest, though some are related. To some extent, the boundaries are fairly defined, with each having sub-provinces. The region lies between the boundaries of Transverse and the peninsular ranges, subjecting the region to unusual tectonic relations. These provide a better understanding of the geology and other related physical features of San Francisco Bay, which is the region of interest, within the larger California.

According to Sanstad, Johnson, Goldstein & Franco (2011), the region is underlain by quite complex as well as highly active geology in the world. In San Francisco Bay, the earth is purely made of rocks that are rich in both iron and magnesium, forming deep within the planet’s interior, thanks to the streams and rivers that currently deposited the sand and gravel. The entire rocks in the region are constantly bent and further tilted by such forces that are responsible for the experienced physical activities in San Andreas and Hayward among other cities characterized with faults.

The same forces behind the earthquake activities have shaped the region’s landscape, making it unique through the hills, valleys alongside the Bay itself. Until now, the landscape is still undergoing further reformation with the Earth’s forces responsible for the further “heightening” of the hills and mountains. However, the rain and gravity experienced in the region drag them down, through massive landslides, avalanches, mud and debris flows. The maps below illustrate geology of the area.

Global Projections and Climatic Analysis

According to Sheridan, Allen, Lee & Kalkstein (2012), developers in the region have set everything clear through detailed plans for the high demand for housing and sports stadiums among other gleaming tech campuses. Despite the planned progress, the majority of the construction sites are being laid on land that is highly susceptible to rising waters as a result of climate change. Funny enough, developers and city planner have done little in repose to the future climatic and environmental projections; flooding and other related geological devastations.

Geological reports on the region have indicated that the area is prone to water flooding in future, especially during storms. This would significantly interfere with transportation activities at the ferry buildings and toll booths alongside the constructed bridges. Other than the sea rise, the city is prone to heating up. According to Mastrandrea & Luers (2012), previous studies in the region have suggested that if the climate change in the regions remains at the prevailing rate, the in 100 years, the region’s temperature will match that of San Diego. The famously cold summers will remain to be history, the fog line absorbed by the ocean, with lots of solar radiation reaching the misty avenues.

Needs and Services

The city’s peak electricity demand was experienced back in 2006, which recorder to almost 51,000 megawatts. Thanks to this experience, since the local government had no option but to reduce peak load. Indeed, this has seen the region experiencing relatively low levels of peak demands, despite the steady rise in population. In 2015, the highest recorded peak load was approximately 48,000 megawatts. By 2020, the region is expected to source more than 35% of its electricity through sustainability approaches; from renewable sources, and close to 50% by 2030. The region has further set strategies that will see it adopting a program for storing energy and related procurement target.

According to Exbrayat, Buytaert, Timbe, Windhorst & Breuer (2014), detailed report on water use in the region has shown that there are three major sectors where water is highly consumed. Statewide, average water usage in the region is approximately 50% environmental, 40% subjected to agricultural and 10% to urban activities. However, these figures keep on changing across regions as well as between seasons and years. Some of the already used water, considered as a waste, by three sectors are diverted back to rivers and ground water basins. It is high time for the local government to come up with intensified measures that will see the used water recycled for reuse.

The region has high energy demands reflected by the intense consumption of such products like petroleum, natural gas, coal, and electricity. The best part of the heavy energy consumption in San Francisco is that the urban demands are being met in a more sustainable way. The city is focused on reducing its current level of energy use both at the domestic and industrial level by procuring renewable energy. Some of the current initiatives include energy efficiency, commitment to renewable energy, fuel cell, and cogeneration.

Narrowing down to energy efficiency, the city planners have surpassed their objective of cutting energy use by 15% by 2018. There are recent projects that have been set to facilitate the achievement of this goal, among them including the hallway de-lamping, use of LED lighting in areas like parking lots and upgrades of HVAC systems. The commitment to renewable energy has seen the city purchasing close to 30% of its energy from renewable resources, though the target is 33%. The excess heat created during fuel cell is captured and directed to heating city buildings. On the other hand, the cogeneration has seen the city producing electricity to meets its population demand, with the waste heat used for heating in companies.

Further Green Options

There are some green options that the city should consider implementing, with the best strategy being partnering with other organizations that are like-minded. According to Colla, Dow & Dube (2013), the city should reach to a relevant organization dealing with geological developments to come up with alternative sources of energy. This should further extend to a significant reduction to emissions of greenhouse gasses as well as fostering sustainability. All these should be outreach initiatives in the city, focusing on better livelihoods and sustainable business; taking care of the environment.

Among the options should include expansion of the solar schools among other related solar habitat programs. To realize this, the city should invest further in such programs, reach out on food banks, neighboring centers and other financial donors willing to partner in the initiative. The city should increase its investment for solar installation. With this approach, they should consider going for solar arrays for all the sites where expedition of the installations can be undertaken successfully.

The city should make use of the ocean tidal resources to generate real and quite nom-polluting energy. They should reach to ocean power innovators who will give a guideline and strategies for harvesting the region’s natural tidal resources since these are clean sources of energy. To make this dream a reality, the city should extend support to green energy companies. This will be met through investing more on support meant for expansion manufacturers, integrators and designers for a sustainable green economy. Growing the business within the region will see San Francisco pioneering developments meant for clean energy economy, and setting the pace for other cities.


At the moment, one can argue that San Francisco has failed to go the “green way” by failing to embrace sustainability options. Considering the high energy demand in the area and the global projections, it would be of great relevance for the city to adopt the suggested green options. Among the options include reaching to a relevant organization dealing with geological developments to come up with alternative sources of energy and outreach initiatives in the city, focusing on better livelihoods and sustainable business; taking care of the environment. The city planner should consider going for solar arrays for all the sites where expedition of the installations can be undertaken successfully and make use of the ocean tidal resources to generate real and quite nom-polluting energy.

Colla, C. H., Dow, W. H., & Dube, A. (2013). San Francisco’s ‘pay or play’ employer mandate expanded private coverage by local firms and A public care program. Health Affairs, 32(1), 69-77. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1285127940?accountid=45049

Exbrayat, J., Buytaert, W., Timbe, E., Windhorst, D., & Breuer, L. (2014). Addressing sources of uncertainty in runoff projections for a data scarce catchment in the Ecuadorian Andes. Climatic Change, 125(2), 221-235. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1160-x

Mastrandrea, M. D., & Luers, A. L. (2012). Climate change in California: Scenarios and approaches for adaptation. Climatic Change, 111(1), 5-16. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0240-4

Sanstad, A. H., Johnson, H., Goldstein, N., & Franco, G. (2011). Projecting long-run socioeconomic and demographic trends in California under the SRES A2 and B1 scenarios. Climatic Change, 109, 21-42. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0296-1

Sheridan, S. C., Allen, M. J., Lee, C. C., & Kalkstein, L. S. (2012). Future heat vulnerability in California, part II: Projecting future heat-related mortality. Climatic Change, 115(2), 311-326. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-012-0437-1