Spear Street Activation

A partnership project with SF Planning, the California College of the Arts students, SF Port, and The East Cut CBD to explore ideas for creating a valuable space for people at the Spear Street cul-de-sac. (2018)


Context: One of the main goals of the South Downtown Design and Activation Plan is to help foster a sense of community and shared identity around the emergent neighborhood among the residents and employees of the South Downtown and immediately adjacent areas.

The Spear Street Cul-de-sac has been identified by the City and CBD as an underutilized space within the district. In close coordination with the Planning Department, the East Cut Community Benefit District, and the Port, students developed designs and ideas to create a valuable space in the Spear Street Cul-de-sac. Designs reflect the needs and desires of the community and can range in scale, style, activation, and programming. The collaboration between City partners, CCA, and local designers (Gensler, Perkins + Will, Niantic, and Google) provide 4 ideas that conceptualize Spear Street as a valuable space. To see all of the designs and provide feedback please visit the Soda Project’s Neighborland website.

Role: Project manager; coordinated partners; sought funding for the studio; created outreach materials, postcards, and webpage; planned Pop-Up Party in Spear Street; helped lead the CCA weekly studio; orchestrated student critiques with visiting reviewers; worked with City partners to seed this new open space for the city. (SF Planning)

Background: Temporary installations are beneficial to help the the public imagine the transformation of urban spaces. Instead of simply discussing an idea of a potential park, people are able to touch, feel and see it for themselves. By transforming the space for a day, the City can ground-truth the idea before committing time and money in a multi-year public process. The Spear Street Pop-up Party demonstrated proof-of-concept that Spear Street could become a vibrant open space to people both within and outside of the City bureaucracy.