Reclaiming San Francisco’s alleyways

Public rights-of-way – streets and alleyways – make up about a quarter of San Francisco’s land area. Projects that reclaim alleyways as neighborhood-serving public places with greening, traffic-calming, and pedestrianization are moving forward in 2015. Living Alleys, also known as woonerfs, are shared space alleyways that prioritize pedestrian use and open space, using special paving, traffic calming, lighting, seating, green landscaping, and […]

2014 in review: Complete Streets and Greenways

2014 saw progress towards complete streets and a greenway network for San Francisco – and also showed that the city’s projects and practices are still falling far short of its standards, policies, and goals. Vision Zero Vision Zero – the goal of eliminating traffic deaths within a decade – made progress in 2014. Various city agencies adopted […]

The future of Downtown’s Public Spaces

As San Francisco’s Downtown gets denser, and increasingly mixed-use – housing, retail, hotels, entertainment, and cultural institutions along with offices – it needs better public amenities – better streets, greenery, and usable and appealing public open spaces. The Downtown Plan, adopted in 1985, emerged from the ‘Planning Wars’ of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Downtown Plan’s intent […]

Transit Victories of 2014


In 2014, San Francisco and Alameda County voters strongly affirmed their support for transit, walking, and cycling. In San Francisco, Prop L, a policy measure which sought to undermine the City’s transit-first policy, traffic calming, and innovative parking management programs, was resoundingly defeated in the November election. Proposition A, a $500 million bond for transit priority projects and […]

Livable City’s Action Plan for Housing marks a year of successes

Last December, Livable City put forward our Action Plan for Housing, a set of complementary strategies for making San Francisco a more livable, sustainable, and affordable city. We aimed to address San Francisco’s unprecedented housing crisis by putting forward a set of strategies for preserving existing housing and protecting tenants, while increasing the supply of housing that is […]

Endorsements for the November 4, 2014 election


2014 brings with it a packed ballot, both on matters of state and local importance. There are several important measures on the ballot this year that touch upon housing, transit, health, and a living wage. On Tuesday, voters will cast ballots on three key transportation-related measures. These measures can either help fund necessary infrastructure and […]

Converting garages in San Francisco

Réveille Coffee, at 4076 18th Street in the Castro, opened in a former garage space. Livable City helped author the ordinance that allowed this garage conversion.

In a city where housing is increasingly scarce and expensive, and where commercial rents are skyrocketing, converting garage spaces to new housing or storefronts can help make space for residents and neighborhood-serving small businesses. Converting garages can also improve neighborhood livability by restoring front gardens, green backyards, pedestrian-friendly building fronts, street trees, and even on-street parking spaces. In […]

Livability Awards & Member Celebration

Please join Livable City for our annual Livability Awards and Member Celebration November 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the historic Old Mint. This event is an opportunity for Livable City to recognize innovators, advocates, and public servants for their leadership and accomplishments and celebrate with our amazing members and friends. This year, we are […]

Livable City challenges Sunday meter rollback

Livable City and the San Francisco Transit Riders Union have appealed SFMTA’s decision to roll back San Francisco’s successful Sunday parking meter program. In January 2013, San Francisco finally started enforcing parking meters from 12-6 pm on Sundays on the City’s commercial streets. An evaluation [PDF] completed in December found the program to be successful – it increased […]

Quartet of housing measures will preserve, improve, and increase SF housing

In the past six months, four housing ordinances championed by Livable City were passed into law. Together, these ordinances will preserve tens of thousands of existing housing units, permitting improvements while strengthening tenant protections, and will permit new units in the Castro neighborhoods. Two ordinances went into effect last week – one creating a path to legalization […]