Design Concepts

Based on community feedback and interagency review, a new concept plan for Civic Center’s public spaces was developed during the latter half of 2018. The draft design concept was shared with the public at a community Open House on February 27, 2019 at City Hall. The project team is currently seeking community input on this concept plan. Feedback will be incorporated into the draft Civic Center Public Realm Plan Document (anticipated publication in Winter 2020). We invite you to review the design concepts on this page. Please contact us with any questions. If you’d like to share your thoughts on the concept plan, please fill out our online comment card.

Note: Street design options are currently undergoing additional design and analysis and will be updated in the Spring. Check back here for updates then.

Civic Center Plaza


Street Design Concept

Coming Soon!


War Memorial Gateway


Design Principles for Civic Center’s Future Public Spaces


A landmark that celebrates shared history and tradition


  • Celebrate the National Landmark Beaux-Arts District in a contemporary way
  • Celebrate the best of the City’s neighborhoods and cultures
  • Create an iconic and authentic destination that is memorable for visitors and residents and embodies the best of San Francisco to the rest of the world


A flexible, accessible, inviting space for all to gather


  • Support large public gatherings, celebrations, protests, and marches
  • Create inviting spaces serving families and visitors of diverse ages and income ranges: multi-generational and multi-functional
  • Transform a car-centric public realm into a place for people


The City’s cultural hub and political heart


  • Celebrate the diversity of San Francisco as a global city
  • Provide opportunities and space for expression, performance, and public art in the public realm
  • Celebrate the rich history of political activism at Civic Center


A source of beauty, delight, and wellness


  • Provide access to nature
  • Provide access to beauty: seasonality, color, flowers
  • Make a comfortable and welcoming environment day and night - a place that is pleasant to be in and linger
  • Responsibly steward shared resources


A generous space that meets the basic needs of diverse publics


  • Provide basic amenities in the public realm and address the specific needs of the spaces: bathrooms, water fountains, seating, lighting
  • Ensure that basic amenities are a physical embodiment of generosity
  • Support the public spaces with a public health agenda that prioritizes recreation, wellness, and healthy uses


The safest place in San Francisco


  • Maintain a clean, safe, and inviting environment
  • Ensure Civic Center is an accessible, resilient resource in the heart of the city after an emergency event
  • Sustain community ambassadors program to help make people feel comfortable and discourage anti-social behavior


Designed + managed through an inclusive process that fosters equity


  • Economic inclusion - local vendors (affordable rent, affordable food)
  • Support and augment the Farmers’ Market, local jobs and commerce