In the works since 2016, three comprehensive plans for transforming San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, Fulton Mall and United Nations Plaza, as newly rendered and outlined below, will be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission next week.
Intended to illustrate “a range of long-term potential improvements and approaches to designing Civic Center Commons to support civic gatherings and daily use,” and to ensure “a cohesive and coordinated” approach and unified vision for the area’s plazas, streets and other public spaces, once the final plans is selected, the three design frameworks have been dubbed the “Culture Connector,” the “Public Platform” and the “Civic Sanctuary,” each of which has its own special emphasis in terms of gathering space, landscaping, interactive features and commercial kiosks and pavilions.
The Culture Connector approach prioritizes “Ecology, Wellness and Variety,” with an expansive tree canopy loosely framing a civic promenade from Market Street to City Hall, along with a variety of settings for “art, commerce & play”:
The Public Platform framework focuses on “Performance,” with a series of flexible and interconnected plazas framed by trees, planting, and sloped lawns and bleacher seats “that create places to see and be seen”:
And the Civic Sanctuary approach celebrates “History,” with strict rows of trees framing the public spaces and a defined central spine from Market Street to City Hall, designed to “recall the formality of the historic Beaux-Arts plan” (while integrating contemporary uses and amenities as well):
The three frameworks will soon be posted to the City’s Civic Center Public Realm Plan site to gather feedback. A preferred approach is expected to be selected and finalized this fall. And assuming a successful environmental review, the grand plan for San Francisco’s Civic Center could be ready for adoption in the first or second quarter of 2020. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.