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.