Innovation Incubator: San Francisco Parklets

Local design firms, non-profits, community organizers and residents of San Francisco have inspired a recovery of paved spaces recreated as urban oases. The city of San Francisco, along with designers, has begun to turn small paved intersections and parking spaces into artistic green spaces and sidewalk extensions. The official name for the city program is Pavement to Parks, which has created quite a stir within the local city community.

In an effort to contribute to this new movement and lend our expertise in design and urban planning, a team in our San Francisco office has proposed to work with Pavement to Parks to design and implement a parklet in San Francisco located in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood, in which our office is located. A parklet repurposes two to three parking stalls along a block as a space for people to relax, drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the city around them. Through our Innovation Incubator, our team has begun the process of research, information gathering and coordination with various parties and entities to make the project a reality.

Download: San Francisco Parklets

Our Innovation Incubator program cultivates an invigorating culture of innovation by supporting small, focused explorations proposed by staff members through micro-grants of money and time. These micro-grants provide opportunities for proactive idea investigation, technical development and design collaboration. Results of these explorations further our design work and contribute to the knowledge base of our industry.