Treasure Island Master Planning

San Francisco, California

We envision a contemporary landscape that is socially active, environmentally progressive, well-crafted, and rooted in its place as an island in the middle of the Bay.

CMG has approached the large and complex redevelopment of Treasure Island as an opportunity to pioneer innovation in sustainable infrastructure and socially-oriented landscapes. The master plan included influential advancements in thinking around large-scale stormwater management as well as pedestrian-oriented streets, among other ideas that became relevant to the city at large.

CMG joined the team in 2002 for Treasure Island’s transition from a former military base into a new neighborhood and publicly accessible land. As a cornerstone of the redevelopment, the 300 acres of parks and open space networks are one of the most important public benefits, and are essential to the broad community support for the project. 

The project has involved a complex process to improve public land through private investment. Countless community meetings have made this one of the most publicly vetted projects in the history of San Francisco. CMG has been a leading partner in the project from the beginning, responsible for open space planning of parks, streets, stormwater management, and habitat creation. Significant planning steps have included the Design for Development entitlements, Open Space Master Plan, Streetscape Master Plan, and the Yerba Buena Habitat Management Plan. Twelve years later, we are now in Phase I of implementation, including the Cityside Waterfront Park.

The landscape design combines both magnificent natural parks and innovative urban spaces. Promenades and bike paths provide circulation throughout and promote a pedestrian-friendly environment, enhance the urban fabric, and capitalize on the site’s spectacular setting. Biofiltration swales lead to wetlands, filtering stormwater while providing settings for recreation and education. The design also proposes innovative strategies for urban agriculture, habitat reconstruction, and environmental stewardship. An adaptive approach to sea level rise allows waterfront parks to evolve and create marsh habitat while retaining their purpose as cultural destinations.

In 2009 Treasure Island was selected as one among 16 founding projects of the Climate Positive Development Program, a Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) supporting large-scale urban developments that demonstrate how cities can grow in ways that are “climate positive.”