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San Francisco, The Embarcadero

8 March 2016 Comments (0) Other

San Francisco, The Embarcadero

In 1989, an earthquake shook San Francisco and seriously damaged the central expressway that overhangs entire districts of the city. A public debate began on the future of these fast road links. The residents took the matter into their own hands and decided to simply dismantle them. This project opened up vast public areas connecting the city‑ centre and the Eastern districts, along the ocean, the more deprived districts at the time. San Francisco then set out on the Embarcadero project, a 6-lane boulevard over 2 km in length. This is accompanied by a pedestrian walkway over 8 metres wide dotted with palm trees, a new urban lighting section and several public squares along the coastline. The space freed up by the old expressway enabled the building of 3000 homes, offices, shops and a baseball field. According to a study by the Preservation Institute, the value of real estate in the district has increased threefold since the expressway was dismantled.

Read on this subject “The Life and Death of Urban Highways”, published by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and the EMBARQ city planning agency

Photo © Getty images / Christopher Chan
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