Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves Supervisor Wiener’s Places for People Ordinance

Legislation will formalize and improve San Francisco’s internationally-recognized Pavement to Parks program, which allows the creation of temporary, publicly useable space like Parklets

San Francisco— Today the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Supervisor Scott Wiener’s Places for People ordinance, which will improve and formalize the City’s internationally-recognized Pavement to Parks program. Pavement to Parks allows for the creation of temporary usable spaces like Parklets and plazas in parking spaces and other public areas. Today’s ordinance provides clear and concise rules and regulations to what has become a complicated public process for members of the community who wish to create a Parklet in front of their business or turn an underutilized area into a public plaza.

“We should be incredibly proud of our innovative Pavement to Parks program, which creates gathering spaces for our community in the middle of our neighborhoods,” said Supervisor Wiener. “These Parklets, plazas, and other public spaces bring people together and build a sense of community through creative uses of public space. The passage of today’s Places for People ordinance will make it easier for our residents and businesses to carve out a little piece of public space to share with their neighbors.”

The Pavement to Parks program was created in 2009, starting with the formation of Jane Warner Plaza at the corner of Castro and Market. Jane Warner Plaza began as a test with cardboard planters, paint, and some movable furniture, and over the years was transformed into a permanent plaza with landscaped planters, decorative lights, and café tables and chairs.

Under the existing law, creating Parklets has required ad hoc coordination between members of the public who wish to build these spaces, Public Works, the Planning Department, the Municipal Transportation Agency, and the Entertainment Commission. This lead to a complicated process for the public, and for gaps in oversight for existing spaces. The Places for People legislation will support activation of these public spaces, solidify the public process to create them, improve interagency coordination, and create equity by ensuring that applications come from all over the City.

The legislation is supported by Walk SF, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, San Francisco Beautiful, the Yerba Buena Community Benefits District, the Noe Valley Association, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District, the Streets Plan Collaborative, the Youth Art Exchange, and many others.

“The streets of San Francisco belong to people of San Francisco,” said Nicole Schneider, Executive Director of Walk SF. “This legislation allows people to reimagine their streets and create shared public spaces for our communities to enjoy.”

San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks Program began in 2009 under the leadership of the Planning Department with the goals of reimagining the potential of city streets, encouraging non-motorized transportation, enhancing pedestrian safety and activities, fostering neighborhood interaction, and supporting local businesses. Today there are more than 65 parklets and plazas throughout San Francisco. More information on the program can be found here http://pavementtoparks.org/