Building Respect on San Francisco’s Third Street

In the past decade (prior to the presence of the Coronavirus), San Francisco’s economy experienced its most substantial growth in nearly a century.  Two factors — the preferences of millennials and baby boomers to live in central cities, combined with the explosive growth of technology companies – created the perfect storm to fuel this growth.

The subsequent job growth and high salaries paid by tech companies, along with an acute housing shortage, begat the most expensive housing costs of any large city in America.

These economic benefits did not reach the city’s most vulnerable communities.  Fifteen percent of the city’s population remain below the Federal poverty level.  The city’s two historically African American neighborhoods, the Bayview and the Fillmore are greatly impacted by displacement pressures. In 2010 the City’s African American population was 6% of the city’s total, from a peak of 17%; it is likely to be less than 5% today.  

Third Street is the city’s primary urban corridor on the eastern edge of the city, along the Bay.  It extends seven miles from the downtown to the City’s southern boundary.  The southern half of Third Street is the core of the Bayview and the subject of this studio.  The booming northern half of this corridor and the more challenged southern half in the Bayview is separated by the City’s largest industrial zone, both a source of important jobs and the subject of environmental justice concerns.  

This studio invites students from all disciplines to work with members of the Bayview Community and the city of San Francisco, to envision a revitalized and unique future for Third Street, respecting the African American heritage.  After analyzing the corridor as a whole, students will work in teams on strategic areas of intervention to be defined with and by the community.  While considering a future for Third Street, it is the hope that the studio, with the community, will develop a new paradigm for a planning and community design process.

GSD students may view additional information on option studios:
Option Studio Presentations
Schedule for Zoom Q&A sessions