Now Accepting Applications for ULI Chamberlin Fellowships!
Applications are now open for the Chamberlin Graduate Student and YLG Public & Non-Profit Sector Fellowships.
May 11, 2023
Photo Credit: Leonardo Patrizi / iStock.com
The City and County of San Francisco envisions a more resilient, economically vibrant, and socially inclusive downtown neighborhood, as outlined in Mayor London Breed’s recently announced Roadmap to Downtown San Francisco’s Future. Now, the City has invited the Urban Land Institute to support this effort through an Advisory Services Panel (ASP). A group of local and national experts in the fields of land use, real estate development, policy, urban planning, government, and economics have been convened to help the City prioritize implementation actions for the next six months, one year, and five years.
The ASP will take place from May 21 – 25, 2023. Throughout the ASP process, the panelists will tour the downtown study area (see figure below), interview stakeholders to better understand key challenges and opportunities, review previously prepared reports and studies, deliberate, and present findings that build upon the City’s work to date.
Preliminary findings will be presented to the Mayor’s Office and other city staff at the conclusion of the Advisory Services Panel on May 25th. The Planning Department will then work with ULI and other city agencies to bring the final recommendations from the Advisory Services Panel to the Planning Commission at a future date.
“San Francisco’s ability to emerge from the pandemic as a stronger, more resilient city will depend on how quickly and effectively we can harness collaborative problem-solving with City leaders, businesses, and residents. The ULI ASP is an important step in that process. It will be an honor to work with this talented group of national panelists and participating stakeholders to adapt lessons from successful downtown turnarounds to envision San Francisco’s post-COVID future,” said Kate Collignon, who is co-chairing the ASP and is a Partner with HR&A Advisors.
Like many cities, San Francisco’s downtown was significantly disrupted by the shift to hybrid work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, two-thirds of San Francisco’s total jobs were located downtown, representing more than three-quarters of the City’s total gross domestic product. Less foot traffic in the neighborhood has negatively impacted retail, small businesses, public space, transportation, and public safety. The declining demand for office space, in downtown San Francisco in particular, has impacted the ecosystem that is essential to the City’s economy.
With unsurpassed transit access, an abundance of commercial buildings looking for new tenants and uses, and opportunities for creative activation of public space, downtown San Francisco is in a strong position to build upon its physical assets and transform the downtown into a resilient, welcoming, and economically vibrant central neighborhood.
Panelists will explore how a potential new mix of uses, including but not limited to housing, can help revitalize downtown and what financial and regulatory changes are needed to achieve this new future.
“This may be one of ULI San Francisco’s most ambitious challenges, but from great adversity often comes great and necessary positive change. We are grateful to be working side-by-side with local stakeholders, San Francisco city staff and leaders, and ULI experts from around the country. It is a true collaboration of a local and national public and private collective invested in helping one of the greatest cities reinvent its downtown,” said Eric Tao, who is co-chairing the ASP with Kate Collignon and is Managing Partner at L37 Development in San Francisco.
“It’s an honor to facilitate this collaboration among our local chapter, ULI’s national experts, and the City and County of San Francisco,” said Natalie Sandoval, Executive Director of ULI San Francisco. “Downtowns across the country are facing many challenges, including uncertainty about return to the office and what that means for the future of downtowns. With this ASP, we hope to aid San Francisco’s leaders in charting a new course for downtown that serves the needs of both long-time and future residents, businesses, and users.”
The panel of experts include:
ULI, through ULI San Francisco, ULI Advisory Services, the ULI Terwilliger Center, and the ULI Foundation, are working with the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department and Office of Economic Workforce Development (OEWD).
The Urban Land Institute, or ULI, is a nonprofit research and education organization with a network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide.
The ULI Advisory Services program offers expertise and technical assistance for communities and organizations facing land use challenges. Through this program, ULI members integrate into communities dealing with a wide array of real estate and land use challenges to provide unbiased, expert advice and specific recommendations for improvement. Members link together with local leaders to draft a plan to revive, rethink, and restore communities around the globe to ultimately enact change and improve the lives of the people who live there.
ULI San Francisco carries forth the ULI mission by serving the Bay Area’s public and private sectors with pragmatic land use expertise and education. More information can be found at www.sf.uli.org.
Scope Area for the ASP:
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