125 thousand years ago, San Francisco was an island. And soon it will be one again, thanks to rising sea levels. Excellent San Francisco blog Burrito Justice has just posted their latest masterpiece — a science fiction story (with infographics!) about city planning squabbles in the 2070s, when San Francisco has become an archipelago.

Click to enlarge maps below.

You'll note that the Mission hipsters are doomed to drown first, along with Ritual Roasters and Four Barrel Coffee, but those who live high above the sea in the hills of Castro and Noe Valley will still be pushing their strollers around and eating at the supernaturally delicious Cookie Time truck.


Here's a quote from Burrito Justice's "AP news story" from 2072 about the San Francisco archipelago:

Unlike most coastal areas of the former United States, the population of the archipelago has dramatically increased despite the 200 foot rise in sea level over the past 60 years. Pundits debate whether this is due to the increasingly tropical temperatures or the creative and cultural explosion due to density. Regardless, the 4 million people now living on the SFA are demanding expansion of the San Andreas airport - studies are underway to build three more runways on the former 280 right of way.

However, the new class of supersonic Clippers will be in service by 2074 and Pan Am claims they can provide direct service to both Haight Inlet and Excelsior Lagoon, much to the relief of the Juniper Serra Conglomeration. (The JSC clearly prefers repurposing the old road to construct a rail gun space launch system with the help of Stanford Alto.)

The cruise ship berths along Divisidero Harbor continue to be upgraded, while negotiations are underway with Port Orinda and Caldecott Harbor to handle the cargo form the outdated facilities at Geary Sound. With the addition of the 6th high speed rail tube to the mainland, the original tunnels (completed in 2025) will be dedicated to cargo.

Development of high rises along the Sunset Coast and Cape Dolores has not been without controversy. The SHSFPA (Submerged Historic San Francisco Preservation Association) has once again protested and filed an environment historic review.


Anyone who has lived in San Francisco for any length of time knows that this is all too plausible. Especially the part about high density development controversy, despite a growing population. This is the kind of everyday life science fiction/futurism that I would love to see more people tackling. I want maps and charts to become their own subgenre of science fiction.

Previously, Burrito Justice offered up some science fiction mapping with this poster of San Francisco as a canal city. This is actually not unrealistic, given that most of the Mission was built on a marsh.


Island map by Burrito Justice. Flood topographic map created by Brian Stokle.