Livable City's Greenway Initiative
The goal of the Greenway Network Initiative is to create a citywide network of landscaped boulevards, green streets, and linear parks which link the city's neighborhoods to one another and to the major parks, wildlife corridors, waterfront, and public transit hubs. The Network will serve as sustainable transportation infrastructure (walking, bicycling, and public transit), and provide stormwater infiltration and management, environmental restoration, recreation, and neighborhood economic development. The Greenway Network will also include the San Francisco portions of the regional Bay Trail and Ridge Trail and the statewide Coast Trail.
Like many older cities, San Francisco has a combined sewer system, and its historic creeks have mostly been filled and culverted to create its combined sewer network. The city’s park system is extensive and covers almost 30% of the urban area. Unfortunately, its most densely-populated eastern neighborhoods lack open space, and the streets in these neighborhoods have heavy traffic volumes, little greenery, and high rates of pedestrian deaths and injuries from traffic.
From isolated parks to open space network
Create high quality and continuous bicycle, pedestrian, and public transit networks.
Serve as “green infrastructure” to improve water quality and lower “grey infrastructure” costs
Conserve and enhance biodiversity
Greenway Network news
Restore Sharp Park!
Livable City supports the campaign to Restore Sharp Park, by converting a flood-prone golf course owned by the City of San Francisco into a restored creek and coastal wetland habitat, with more opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation. Sharp Park can become a connector between the California Coast Trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Greening San Francisco's Waterfront
San Francisco's waterfront used to be one of the world's great cargo ports. The switch to shipping containers and superior rail access have made Oakland into the Bay Area's prime cargo port, creating the opportunity to reimagine San Francisco's waterfront. Some maritime industries remain viable (fish processing at Pier 45, and a working drydock at Pier 70) and should be preserved, but much of the waterfront can be opened to recreation, open space, and environmental restoration. The Waterfront's fine buildings, especially the historic pier buildings on the northern waterfront, and the buildings and Pier 70 should be restored, and new uses found for them. New development on port lands should complement, not dominate, the public uses of the waterfront. Livable City's waterfront priorities include:
Burnham's plan for San Francisco
The last comprehensive plan San Francisco had for a greenway network was over a hundred years ago, when architect Daniel Burnham proposed a greenway network as part of his comprehensive plan for San Francisco.
Burham's plan was released, with great fanfare, just a few weeks before the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. It proposed carving a network of monumental new boulevards and public spaces through the city's street grid. The plan also proposed that much of what was then undeveloped San Francisco remain as parkland a great park, for example, would have swept from Twin Peaks to Lake Merced, and the canyon of Islais Creek, now occupied by Interstate 280, would have been a canyon park like Washington DC's Rock Creek Park.
Although the 1906 Earthquake and Fire devastated two-thirds of San Francisco, the Burnham Plan's vision for an integrated system of boulevards and parks was largely ignored, and the city's subsequent development left the city's parks largely separate from one another.
Livable City's Greeway Network proposal seeks to capture the spirit of the Burnham Plan by connecting the city's parks through reclaiming utility easements and street and freeway rights-of-way as public spaces, and by transforming the city streets into a pedestrian-oriented network of boulevards and green neighborhod streets.
Parks, not parking!
Livable City's Greenway network initiative figures prominently in Tim Holt's piece for the San Francisco Chronicle, "Tear down the Monster and turn it into playing fields" (Sunday, January 7). The Greenway network would, among other things, democratize healthy outdoor recreation activities and access to nature by creating a network of linear parks, landscaped streets, and boulevards across the city, using mostly existing city streets and public rights-of-way.
The Greenway network would support safe and well-designed walking, jogging, and cycling paths, as well as bring nature to every corner of the city. The greenway network is just one of the emerging ideas, which we call Sustainable Southeast, that would transform the city's long-neglected southeast into a network of livable, sustainable neighborhoods.
It looks at though the 49ers stadium will be leaving Candlestick, either to be rebuilt on the nearby Hunters Point Shipyard site, or, more likely, off to Santa Clara. Could Candlestick Point, surrounded on three sides by parkland, with views of the Bay and Bayview Hill, would better serve the city as a new compact, livable, and sustainable neighborhood, rather than the stadium-mall complex, with a 10,000 car parking garage, narrowly approved by the voters almost a decade ago?
The Chronicle's John King thinks that the plan for Candlestick would be better without the stadium and its massive parking garage. Steve Boland, of San Francisco Cityscape put forward this proposal for a mixed use, urban neighborhood at Candlestick, which looks pretty good to us.