Creating a more welcoming and inclusive Civic Center

Thousands of women and their allies gather for the Women's March at Civic Center in San Francisco, Calif. Saturday January 21, 2017. The Women's March is a national movement attempting to unite people around issues like reproductive rights, immigration and civil rights after Donald Trump's inauguration. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

CMG is leading a design team to reimagine a vision for San Francisco’s Civic Center. The goal is to develop design and activation strategies to make Civic Center a more welcoming and inclusive public space and 21st-century commons that all San Franciscans can be proud of – where civil discourse and social justice are cultivated and where city residents embrace shared governance with compassion and pride. The Public Realm Plan will develop conceptual designs for several key public spaces – Civic Center Plaza, United Nations Plaza, Fulton Street between Larkin and Hyde, and surrounding streets. As CMG Partner Willett Moss says, “Although each and every place is unique, special places with special attributes can rise to iconic levels and Civic Center is such a place.”

CMG’s design and engagement approach to Civic Center’s public spaces is a community-based process that encourages participation and the sharing of ideas. The first step in the process is the launching of a citywide survey seeking community feedback on potential design improvements to the Civic Center area. Open to anyone with an interest in the future of Civic Center’s public spaces and streets, responses from the survey will be used to help develop design alternatives for many Civic Center streets and public spaces.

So imagine a new civic center with us. Take the survey and help make a better public realm for all. The Civic Center Public Realm Plan Community Survey, available here, will be open through February 28, 2018.


Additional members of the design team include Gehl Studio, HR&A, InterEthnica, Kennerly Architecture + Planning, Lotus Water, Structus, M. Lee, JS Nolan, architecture + history, and HRA Engineering. The Public Realm Plan is an interagency effort managed by the San Francisco Planning Department in partnership with multiple City agencies including San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Recreation & Parks, San Francisco Real Estate Division, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. For more information visit: