San Francisco Plaza Program
San Francisco’s plazas are vital to the livability of the city because they create a sense of place and community for residents and visitors to enjoy the local neighborhoods. As the City population continues to grow, the transformation of underutilized public plazas will be instrumental in providing social, economic, and ecological benefits in neighborhoods citywide. Through an initiative called the San Francisco Plaza Program, the city aims to create an environment where residents and visitors can engage in and implement uses of the public realm for community supported activities such as art and music events, farmers’ markets, movie nights, local food and retail opportunities, and much more.
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) is partnering with the Real Estate Division (RED) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) to launch the SF Plaza Program. The goals of the program are:
To strengthen San Francisco’s vibrant communities by lowering barriers to community and economic development-enhancing partnerships. New standardized agreement forms, systemic processes and customized event permitting tools could make it easier for communities to activate their local plazas and craft long-term sustainable management plans.
To improve the City’s ability to support more safe, clean and active plazas.
To adopt innovative approaches to activate and manage plazas in the urban public realm and share these approaches nationally.
To support operational and fiscal sustainability of plazas.
To establish an Interagency Plaza Program Working Group to guide program development and administration.
Plazas that could be adopted in this program would be located on City-owned property in active areas of San Francisco, like commercial corridors, transit or bicycle hubs or other naturally active areas. Only City property outside of the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) jurisdiction would be eligible and each proposed plaza would have a demonstrable need for a long-term activation and/or maintenance solution. The Plaza Program is intended to provide a long-term “home” for plaza projects created through various City programs, including but not limited to: Pavement to Parks, Invest in Neighborhoods, the Planning Department process for new residential and/or commercial developments and other City initiatives. All program plazas would need to be adopted by the Board of Supervisors on a plaza-by-plaza basis as part of the Plaza Program.
The program would leverage benefits for the public realm by supporting community-based groups in becoming stewards of their neighborhood open space. The Plaza Program is an exciting new step in building on local efforts to implement more innovative, sustainable and livable solutions that engage and support San Francisco’s many vibrant communities.
For questions regarding the Plaza Program, please contact: