January 23, 2014

Recommendations For Implementing An Eco-District In San Francisco

Eco-District%20Underpass.gif

About to be presented to San Francisco’s Planning Commission, an update on the plans for developing a Central SoMa "eco-district" and a series of recommendations and detailed strategies for how the eco-district should be implemented.

The eco-district task force's key recommendations around the areas of (1) equitable development, (2) economic development, (3) community building, (4) energy, (5) water, (6) waste, (7) habitat and eco-system function, (8) access and mobility, (9) health and well-being, and (10) the actual implementation of the eco-district:

1.1 Promote Equity and Local Opportunity
2.1 Enhance Local Economic Development
2.2 Create a Resilient Central SoMa
3.1 Foster the creation of new community driven initiatives
3.2 Create an Innovation District
4.1 Establish a Net Zero Carbon Energy District
5.1 Create a district where only non-potable water is used for non-potable uses.
6.1 Strive for a Zero Waste District
7.1 Expand and Enhance Habitat and Eco-System Function
8.1 Reduce Emissions from Transportation
9.1 Leverage Eco-District Projects to Promote Public Health and Well-Being
9.2 Activate Rooftops
10.1 Establish a Steering Committee to Formalize the Eco-District Organization
10.2 Identify Short, Medium and Long Term Goals to Facilitate Eco-District Implementation

The Task Force’s detailed strategies for implementing its aforementioned recommendations: Central SoMa Eco-District: Task Force Recommendations.

The Framework For San Francisco's First Urban Eco-District [SocketSite]

First Published: January 23, 2014 1:30 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What a ridiculous waste of tax dollars and staff time. It's not even that we can't afford big-ticket items like a Geary subway or extending the Central Subway to North Beach and the waterfront; we can't even keep alive the palms along Embarcadero or the street trees in SoMa.

And they think people are going to want to go hang out under the freeway?! For the last 9 months I walked under the freeways twice a day going to and from Caltrain; trust me, no amount of greenery and water features are going to make me want to go visit that noisy, dark, sooty environment. It's things like this that give the City and the Bay Area such a bad name.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 23, 2014 1:46 PM

Most of these goals are so vague that it is hard to evaluate the benefits that this program will deliver. "Create an innovation district" : what does that even mean?

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 23, 2014 1:59 PM

So much nasal gazing in SF and so little real planning for the future

Posted by: zig at January 23, 2014 2:47 PM

This reads like an intern/student project

Is there political will among the BOS to have the Planning Dept work on junk like this? I have this think so

Posted by: zig at January 23, 2014 2:53 PM

For a City who can't even keep the current streets pleasant, this "pie-in-the sky" is an expensive and worthless endeavor.

Sierrajeff sums it up nicely.

I want to know, from what City budget line item is this folly pulled?

Posted by: Jackson at January 23, 2014 2:54 PM

Although some of the recommendations are admirable and it reads as an interesting idea on paper, there a so many problems that need to be addressed first. Homelessness, inefficient transit, cleanliness, housing.

Posted by: mow at January 23, 2014 4:24 PM

This is easy ...

Everytime you are redoing sidewalks build bulb outs with bioswales. This will increase carbon trapping greenery, reduce water pollution from runoff and naturally slow traffic reducing carbon and pedestrian/cyclist deaths/accidents.

Also, the city should take the initiative to follow its own zoning laws and instead of 6 foot wide concrete sidewalks tear up the 2-3 feet nearest the road and replace it with planting and trees ala what the residents of NoPa recent did near Broderick and Grove and Hayes and Broadway. Again, carbon trapping greenery and runoff mitigation.

Finally, install more 'green' medians like on divisandero. These natural slow traffic, reducing carbon emissions, traffic accidents and deaths, as well as encourage pedestrians to visit local businesses.

Done.

Posted by: Badlydrawnbear at January 23, 2014 4:34 PM

@badly - generally good ideas - there are some ridiculously wide streets in the Avenues, for instance, that could easily support a green median. And while the City's at it, make all those homes in the Richmond & Sunset remove their concrete lawns and restore plantings.

But my guess is the "bioswales" would collect more garbage and cigarette butts than runoff (even when we're not in a drought year)... they'd just wind up being bare dirt eyesores.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 23, 2014 4:58 PM

Enforce existing rules against paving over lawns for parking.

Done.

Posted by: EJ at January 23, 2014 5:13 PM

"Also, the city should take the initiative to follow its own zoning laws and instead of 6 foot wide concrete sidewalks tear up the 2-3 feet nearest the road and replace it with planting and trees ala what the...."

Indeed! Give us back our sidewalks! Use road space for the 2-3 foot gardens as suggested above. We're limiting the usability of sidewalks instead of encouraging them. Wheelchairs strollers increasing pedestrian life happening everywhere.

Stop the ripping up craze of our sidewalks. Density means more street life on the sidewalks.

Road diet not sidewalk diet.

Posted by: Invented at January 23, 2014 7:32 PM

"my guess is the "bioswales" would collect more garbage and cigarette butts than runoff"

Good. It is better they end up in the bioswales than in the Bay.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at January 27, 2014 8:43 AM

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