Yerba Buena | Street Life Plan

San Francisco, CA

The Street Life Plan is the culmination of a 14 month community design initiative, led by CMG and funded by a community benefit district, which serves as a map for future public realm improvements within the Yerba Buena District.

The focus of the improvements is the public Right of Way: streets and sidewalks, which comprise a full 25% of the public land within San Francisco, yet rarely are designed for maximum public benefit. Through surveys, public meetings, community input, charrettes, and a long-term needs assessment, CMG articulated broad community principals from which 36 distinct projects designs were developed, several of which have been implemented. CMG is proud to be a consultant and partner to the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District for this ongoing work.

The historically industrial neighborhood is plagued by broad transportation-oriented streets and banal streetscapes that neglect human scale, yet the district has turned into one of the most enterprising neighborhoods, at the epicenter of the current tech boom. The district boasts institutions such as the SFMOMA, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Moscone Convention Center, and Metreon and Westfield Malls. Simultaneously, the residential population includes senior, international, affordable housing, and luxury residences.

The plan’s impact was almost immediate; as soon as it was released, City of San Francisco Agencies were toting copies to meetings, and projects were further legitimized when they were folded into the City’s long-term planning and EIR assessment for the Central Corridor. By structuring the product to assist with implementation of the proposals, several projects have gained momentum that would otherwise take far longer to achieve. The process and plan have also established a model for community improvement that can be replicated by other professionals, neighborhoods and benefit districts.