7x7SF: Urban and Regional Planning Lecturer Ranks Among the City's Top Thought Leaders

Urban & Regional Planning Professor Seeks to Save Ocean Beach

San Francisco-based magazine 7×7 recently posted its annual Hot 30 list. Among those featured was Benjamin Grant, a lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning who also serves as San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR) 
program manager and Ocean Beach Master Plan architect.

Leilani Marie Labong writes, “It’s Indian summer in San Francisco, and temperatures are on the rise. As are the local luminaries in our annual Hot 20, er . . . Hot 30. That’s right. We were so impressed by the crop of talent and brains moving the needle this year—in fields as diverse as technology, music, education, sports, and arts—that we added 10 bright stars to our list…

“Oakland resident Benjamin Grant has devoted the past two years of his career at SPUR to preparing a roadmap for the inevitable: sea-level rise at Ocean Beach, thanks to that leading culprit of environmental havoc, global warming. ‘Ocean Beach isn’t just a piece of infrastructure that needs to be armored,’ says Grant, who holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley. ‘It’s also a national park, a sensitive habitat, and a beloved landscape for the people of San Francisco.’

“The Ocean Beach Master Plan’s approach sets it apart from other urban-design initiatives with six key moves—from native sand-dune restoration to bicycle and pedestrian upgrades north of Balboa Street—to improve and protect the beach. ‘When it comes to climate change, we can’t put our heads in the sand,’ says Grant, whose recent venture into fatherhood deepens his motives. ‘We need to get ahead of it to create the best future possible for Ocean Beach.'”