South Downtown Design and Activation Plan

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The South Downtown Design and Activation Plan will provide a framework for designing, implementing and managing the public realm in the emergent neighborhood surrounding the Transbay Terminal and Rincon Hill. The plan area covers a quadrant of roughly 30 blocks of the city bounded by Market Street, The Embarcadero, Bryant Street and 2nd Street.

Fifteen years ago, much of of the district was characterized by surface parking lots and light industrial land uses. Today, the district is experiencing a wave of development by both public sector actors. This development reflects the legacy of roughly fifteen years of city planning efforts for the district.

The construction of the Transbay Transit Center will greatly improve access to Downtown, especially from the East Bay while a wave of new residential and commercial high-rises (over 20 at last count) will, in addition to permanently altering the city's skyline, dramatically increase the volume of people living, working and visiting the area.

This plan will be co-authored by The East Cut Community Benefit District (CBD). By collaborating with the CBD, the city will be in close contact with the neighborhood needs and desires from this planning effort. Consolidating our efforts will lead to quicker outcomes and a more cohesive strategy for the neighborhood.

Project Vision

To develop a comprehensive vision for the design, implementation and stewardship of the public spaces within San Francisco's South Downtown (composed of the Transbay and Rincon Hill Planning areas), and in doing so, create implementable designs that foster vibrant streets and open spaces, support high performing transit operations, and encourage active transportation choices for the people who live, work and visit the district.


Spring 2017 Interagency Coordination; Background Research
Summer 2017 Develop communications plan
August 2, 2017 First Outreach Event: Kickoff and Project Overview
August - Dec 2017 Focused Outreach Events, Lunch-and-Learns (see get involved)
October 30, 2017 Community Workshop No. 2
May 5, 2018 Public Outreach Event No. 3 (Pop-up Party in Spear Street)
Late Summer/Fall 2018 Public Outreach Event No. 4 (Transportation and Circulation)
Fall 2018 Potential Public Outreach Event No. 5
Winter 2019 Plan Approvals

Outreach Materials

CCA Spear Street Spring 2018 Studio
The Spear Street Cul-de-sac has been identified by the City and CBD as an underutilized space within the district. In close coordination with the Planning Department, the Community Benefit District, and the Port, students will develop designs and ideas to create a valuable space in the Spear Street Cul-de-sac. Learn more here.

Community Workshop #2 - October 30, 2017

Community Workshop #1 - August 2, 2017

  • Presentation
  • Boards
  • Miss the meeting? Check out the summary to see what our team covered and what we heard from the public: Meeting Summary
  • We collected written comments and questions from participants, which will help us shape and focus our following workshop topics: Posted Comments

Interactive Map

This map shows comments collected for the South Downtown Design & Activation Plan (Soda) at the August 2nd Community Workshop.
Click here to view collected comments in PDF document.

Related Efforts

The South Downtown Design and Activation Plan will build on existing policy goals of the following related planning efforts with a broader view of the neighborhood and a focus on the streetscape design and activation of the public realm.

Get Involved

Share your ideas - interactive webpage
How can we make The East Cut Community Benefit District a better place for everyone? Join the conversation and share your ideas here.

Attend a meeting
The webpage will continue to be updated with our meeting information schedule and specific events.

Request a lunch-meeting
We want residents and workers to be involved in the process of improving public life in South Downtown. Contact us to request a brief presentation at your office's lunch-and-learn.


Please direct all email inquiries to