Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In
Greenstreets

Quantifying the Value of San Francisco’s Unaccepted Streets

4:35 PM PST on December 15, 2009

As we have reported, Berkeley Professor Nicholas de Monchaux's Local Code proposal for activating San Francisco's "Unaccepted Streets" called for transforming the patchwork of 529 acres of underutilized alleys, street-ends, and pathways into a network of green spaces. Were San Francisco to build out the more than 1500 identified sites, de Monchaux estimates that the city would save $4.8 million in air pollution mitigation, $6.9 million in energy savings, and a staggering $1 billion in stormwater infrastructure.

From the proposal:

The final outcome of our proposal is a pedestrian network ofplaces, and a virtual network of spaces as well. A focused web threadedthrough real and virtual fabric; our systematic interventions turn awayfrom the idea of urban infrastructure driven by cars and highways to amore robust, and perhaps natural, notion of urbanity. Instead of theold metaphors of lungs and circulation, we propose a robust, networkedlogic of health and social welfare, a distributed immune system for the21st-century metropolis.

While the project didn't win UCLA's WPA 2.0 design competition, Professor de Monchaux and the five other WPA 2.0 finalists were afforded an audience in late November with President Barack Obama's Director of the Office of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrion and HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims, who both apparently showed great interest.

"My goal now is to initiate some of those conversations with local agencies," said de Monchaux. "I think a very interesting next step would be to implement some of the
designs locally, create a community based laboratory to see how these designs
would perform."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog San Francisco

Oakland Rips Out Protected Bike Lane on Embarcadero

The city and the councilmember who represents District 2 complain about lack of resources for safety projects, but somehow they have the resources to rip out protected bike lanes

February 22, 2024
See all posts