Pavement to Parks San Francisco

Powell Street Promenade

Locations: Powell Street between Ellis and Geary Streets

Trial Demonstration: Early Spring 2011
Opening Date: Late Spring 2011

Community Partner: Union Square Community Benefit District

Design: Walter Hood Design

In December of 2010, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the City’s latest Pavement to Parks project, a new and innovative public space in the heart of San Francisco’s commercial downtown as part of a new design and financial partnership between the City & County of San Francisco, The Union Square Business Improvement District (BID) and Audi of America. This new public space would take the form of a continuous pedestrian promenade along Powell Street for two blocks between Ellis and Geary Streets, running alongside the famed Cable Car. The new Powell Street Promenade would provide more space for pedestrians to sit and relax and enjoy one of San Francisco’s most vibrant corridors. The City, the BID, and Audi worked together over the following months to develop a final design.

Over an average weekend, up to 100,000 pedestrians walk along this portion of Powell Street, contributing to a highly animated yet often congested sidewalk experience. The Powell Street Promenade would provide extra space for people to walk, sit at a table or on a bench, chat with a friend, or just watch as thousands of people pass by. Wood, stone, and metal trim would provide a rich visual quality to the space, softened by landscaping and pedestrian scale lighting.

The full Powell Street Promenade was installed in late Spring of 2011.

Powell Street Promenade rendering
Conceptual Rendering image courtesy RHAA

Powell Street Promenade site plan
Conceptual Block Layout image courtesy RHAA



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