Downtown Neighborhoods Initiative


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      The Planning Department has launched a new effort to encourage and support downtown living. One pillar of the department's Citywide Action Plan, the Downtown Neighborhoods Initiative will provide a comprehensive strategy for strengthening the vitality of the downtown's diverse neighborhoods - encouraging new housing and creating balanced, livable neighborhoods in and around the downtown core. This initiative will set the stage for as many as 40,000 new housing units downtown.

Working with the full range of diverse places in and around the downtown, this initiative will develop strategies to not only build new neighborhoods in places like Transbay and Rincon Hill, but also to strengthen and enhance the wide range of neighborhoods South of Market. Working with the public, the Planning Department will develop a strategy that ensures that as the downtown grows, it becomes a safe, livable and thriving place to call home, at the center of the city's civic, cultural and commercial life.

Get Involved!

Take part in the Downtown Neighborhoods Initiative. Starting in the Fall of 2003, public workshops will build on the work of other planning efforts -- most notably the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Planning Process for SOMA, and the Planning Process for the Transbay Area. These workshops will be your opportunity to help articulate a new vision for downtown, and to learn more about the tools for positive change. An intensive one-year planning effort will result in a comprehensive plan for the downtown neighborhoods for consideration by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Check back for announcements of upcoming activities. To have your name added to our mailing list, call 415.558.6307.


Learn More About the DNI

Program Overview

Streets [Coming Soon]


Public Open Spaces

The Rincon Hill Plan

Planning Staff

Amit Ghosh, Chief of Comprehensive Planning

David Alumbaugh, Plan Manager,
415.558.6601 phone
415.558.6426 fax


Marshall Foster, Lead Planner,
415.558.6362 phone
415.558.6426 fax

San Francisco Overview

Goals for the Downtown Neighborhoods
  • A vital regional heart. In an increasingly sprawling, multi-centered region, building on our regional advantage will require bold initiatives to sustain an attractive climate for business and to provide a strong and stable housing supply for San Francisco's workforce.
  • A range of housing opportunities. While it has long been the Bay Area's employment center, relatively few people live in San Francisco's downtown. The Downtown Neighborhoods Initiative will encourage substantial new housing around downtown, with strong measures to encourage the whole range of people and families in San Francisco to live there–even families with children–so that the housing built there will house the San Franciscan work force and thereby address the city's critical housing need.
  • Balanced downtown neighborhoods that support urban living. It takes more than housing to make a livable place. With more people living downtown, we will need to knit together a rich variety of urban amenities into the fabric that's there, introduce a mix of new uses and activities, and invest in dramatic improvements to the public realm of streets and open spaces.
  • A rich variety of uses and activities. The downtown area is a diverse and vital place. We should not only build on its role as a regional center of employment and culture, but also build on its historic resources, businesses, cultural organizations and diverse residential population.
  • A balanced range of transportation choices. The downtown's compactness, gentle topography and access to transit make it an easy place to get around without a car. Here, more than anywhere, we need to make streets safe and attractive for those who walk and bicycle, and to make transit a truly convenient, reliable and dignified alternative to driving.
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