Buchanan Street Mall Project - Vision Plan

Project SummaryBuchanan Street Mall Activation Celebration

In September 2018 we began the next phase of our partnership to re-envision and renovate Buchanan Mall. Based on the Vision Plan generated by the Western Addition community, we are now continuing work with our partners Citizen Film, Green Streets, and The Trust for Public Land (TPL), to create a conceptual design for the entire five blocks of the park. Together with our high caliber landscape design partnership of Office of Cheryl Barton and Studio MLA, the fall of 2018 will see an intensive engagement with the community to develop and discuss the plan as it progresses. Once the concept plan is complete, we will select one block to fully design and build by 2021.

The Buchanan Mall partnership had its first success on November 7, 2015, when Supervisor Vallie Brown, Mayor London Breed, Green Streets, Citizen Film, The Trust for Public Land (TPL), The Exploratorium's Studio for Public Spaces, and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, along with many members of the Western Addition community, gathered to celebrate renewal of the Buchanan Mall with the installation of the "Activation." The Activation is a temporary installation of gardens, benches, archways, historical photos, lighting, and two "audio-domes" providing stories from the neighborhood. The coalition's next step was to develop a Vision Plan for the future of the Buchanan Mall. This effort, generously funded by a grant from than Supervisor Breed and donations from TPL and many other organizations and volunteers was completed in April 2018 and helped to document the community's needs and aspirations for the park. The activation and ensuing Vision Plan have strengthened the community coalition, brought life to the park, and infused energy into the process of imagining and realizing the potential of this significant community space.



Project Partners

  • The Trust for Public Land - A national nonprofit founded in San Francisco in 1972 to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. TPL is the project director and is funding the design of the project.
  • Citizen Film - A nationally recognized nonprofit that uses documentary storytelling, including film, oral histories, and other media, as a tool to foster dialogue about solutions to local problems. Citizen Film has partnered with Green Streets to tell stories of community empowerment and facilitate an ongoing series of film screenings and community storytelling sessions.
  • Green Streets - The staff of this small local business were key community organizers and members of the Design Task Force, which developed the Activation design and continues to connect the community to the project. Green Streets is a social enterprise providing environmental services and beautification for affordable housing properties along the Buchanan Mall through recycling and composting programs.
  • The Exploratorium - Exploratorium Studio for Public Spaces works in the public realm to create exhibits and environments that encourage play, exploration, creativity, and social connection. The Exploratorium Studio designed the Activation project and facilitated a unique community design-build process. The studio continues to advise on the project.

Funding Source

The Buchanan Street Mall conceptual design is funded by The Trust for Public Land and their donors. The design and construction of the first block to be renovated will be funded by a combination of funds from The Trust for Public Land, Rec and Park's Let'sPlaySF! Initiative and other public funds.

Documents & Materials