Plans for a facelift of Civic Center Plaza are moving forward! This public space is a 5 minute walk from your door at NEMA. The Civic Center Public Realm Plan will build off recent plans and studies and create one coordinated interdepartmental plan for long-term improvements to the area’s streets, plazas, and other public spaces. The Civic Center covers all of the relevant details and conceptual designs on their website.

The Public Realm Plan will unite several public spaces around City Hall into a more modern, functional design. The project brings together United Nations Plaza, Civic Center Plaza and Fulton Street between the San Francisco Main Library and the Asian Art Museum into a common area that aims to give rise to more foot traffic and outdoor recreation.

This vision seeks to enhance Civic Center as both a ceremonial gathering place that inspires civic pride as well as improving it as a space for daily neighborhood use. The concept plan fulfills the ambitions of the original 1912 Beaux-Arts plan: cohesion across the Civic Center Landmark District with ceremonial spaces that commemorate civic history with capacity for large demonstrations and celebrations. At the same time, it adds intimate spaces that create daily destinations and offer diverse experiences and amenities for local residents.

Below are a few sneak peeks we’ve gathered from the Civic Center website:

Daily Life at Civic Center: Civic Center’s public realm will be designed as a flexible place that welcomes daily life, with diverse activities over the course of the day and evening, weekdays and weekends.

Civic Center Plaza: Garden rooms framing new lawns and the Playgrounds create a lively, verdant frame for a large gathering space centered on City Hall. A mirror fountain provides an informal place to play during the day, but can be turned off during civic events.

Fulton Mall: Lawn terraces between the Library and the Asian Art Museum provide a place to play and hang out, and are framed by benches and places to sit in sun or shade. New pavilions and seating on the Library terrace create a quiet place to people-watch.

Leavenworth Street: Leavenworth is transformed from forlorn alley to neighborhood park with a dog park, fitness park, community message board, and game tables. Dramatic lighting marks the gateway day and night, and special paving reinvigorates the space as a welcome mat that connects the Tenderloin to Civic Center's public spaces.

UN Plaza: Adaptation of the existing fountain provides visibility, planting, accessible and usable space, and productive stormwater function, transforming a barrier into an amenity to the neighborhood and a welcoming gateway. A civic promenade from Market St to City Hall is a space for commemoration of the UN Charter, the history of Civic Center, and of local/neighborhood heroes. New places to eat and recreate on Leavenworth St and at BART add vitality at the plaza’s edges.

The Civic Center Public Realm Plan will create a long-term vision for improvements to Civic Center’s plazas, streets, and other public spaces. The plan will build on the Civic Center Commons Initiative’s current efforts and major new investments such as the Bi-Rite Cafe and Helen Diller Civic Center Playgrounds, which are building momentum for the plan’s future capital investment and sustainable management plan.

Sources: Civic Center,

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Image credit : All designs are conceptual and pending further refinement.