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Going to a POPOS

April 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am - April 29, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

Join Walk San Francisco’s Outreach Director, Natalie Burdick to explore a collection of little known sites located across the neighborhoods South of Market and the Financial District that are intended to offer the public access to greenery, street art, and restful outdoor retreats from the steel and concrete landscape that dominates the northeastern corner of San Francisco.

As an Area Plan under the city’s General Plan, the Downtown Plan pointed towards creating mixed-used developments that would be smaller in size and shape than those which prevailed in the International Style blocks of the 1960s. In addition, the Plan required that developers set aside part of their investment to pay for open space, works of art, and public transport. Since 1985, San Francisco has required developers of the downtown area dedicate one square foot of public space in their projects, for every 50 square feet of office or hotel space that they build. Prior to the establishment of this building code, office towers simply built all the way to the edge of their property lines. These set asides are referred to as POPOS (Privately Owned Public Open Spaces).

The Downtown Area Plan also prioritized public transit, cycling and walking, but most of the Streets in SoMa, FiDi and the Tenderloin do not adhere to the city’s long-standing Transit First Policy. Instead, these streets still reflect the planning and engineering ethos of most post-war urban centers in the U.S., which have long sacrificed human-scaled, walkable, and safe streets for fast, dangerous and heavily auto-oriented traffic thoroughfares (see the city’s high-injury corridor network).

April’s walk will navigate the current streetscape of SoMa and FiDi to explore a number of these downtown POPOS, including the first ever constructed in 1969, which was initiated before the Plan’s establishment. Join Walk SF to discover what are often hidden spaces, and compare and contrast their designs for openness, accessibility, and interconnection.

The walk will also highlight select architectural sites along the route.

When: Walk SF’s monthly members walk begins on Saturday, April 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – walk will proceed rain or shine, barring high winds or dangerous weather.

Where: Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco Fountain

What to bring?

  • Wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes
  • Carry rain gear and sunhat as needed­
  • Stock sunblock, water, and personal snacks

Entrance Fee: FREE for Walk SF members; $10 minimum donation per person for non-members.


April 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am
April 29, 2018 @ 12:00 pm
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