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San Francisco City Planning

BETTER MARKET STREET INITIATIVE

A systems-thinking approach to measuring the impact of placemaking

The City of San Francisco introduced Living Innovation Zones (LIZ) to (re)establish Market Street as an economic, cultural, and civic artery of the city. The Exploratorium installed the first LIZ— an exhibit designed to attract pedestrians and spark interaction. MKThink was engaged to measure the impact of this placemaking initiative. Analysis focused on pedestrian flow along the corridor, collecting data from MUNI stops and bike share stations. Sensors deployed at the installation detected cellular devices as a proxy to measure foot traffic and linger time. This is the first phase of a systems-thinking analysis that examines the factors that impact placemaking. Insights into how people interact with their urban environments will inform future strategies for revitalizing public spaces.

PROJECT:

DATES: 2007-2008
CITY: San Francisco
STATE: California
SIZE/SCALE: 1,300 SF
MARKET: Community, Parks, and Recreation

SERVICES:

CHALLENGE: To revamp a largely abandoned space into a recreational public park.
SERVICES: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Docs, and Construction Admin.
RESULT: The pavilions add drama and playfulness to the cityscape, serving as visual anchor points in the park. The pavilions’ translucent blue skins allude to the site’s nautical context, as their form and construction recall those of kayaks and other small watercrafts.

PROJECT:

DATE: 2013 - 2014
CITY: San Francisco
STATE: California
SIZE/SCALE: 3,000 SF
MARKET: City Planning

SERVICES:

CHALLENGE: To reestablish Market Street as an economic, cultural, and civic artery of the city.
SERVICES: Experiment Design, Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Data Visualization.
RESULT:  A systems-thinking analysis that examined the factors that impact placemaking.