Reclaim Market Street

October 8, 1:00- 5:00 pm Sidewalk
October 15, 1:00- 5:00, 7:00-9:00 pm Plaza
October 22, 1:00- 5:00 pm Street

Related Programming:
September 6, 6:00- 8:00 pm Opening Party: Reclaim Market Street! Exhibition
October 1, 11:00 am- 3:00 pm Walking Tour: Occupations of Market Street
November 15, 6:00- 8:00 pm Screening: The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

In 2015, Market Street will be remade as the culmination of a four-year public process called the Better Market Street Project. Reclaim Market Street!, created by the Studio for Urban Projects, augmented this ongoing community program by staging a series of interventions that engaged the public in changing the street. Accompanying these events was an exhibition at the San Francisco Planning + Research Organization (SPUR) that provided context for these pilot projects by highlighting the many ways in which cities, nationally and internationally, are engaged in reimagining their public spaces through experimental urban planning.

Believing that artists can be provocative agents in helping us to reimagine our cities, the Studio for Urban Projects—in collaboration with artists, activists, designers and city officials—created this project as a way of helping us to claim Market Street in this crucial moment.

Beyond commerce, business and the movement of the automobile, what do we want to use our streets for? Can we claim the street for conversation, action, play, lounging and making? Can we use this space primarily for those who walk, bike or take public transport? Can we prioritize the social life of the street?

These efforts are part of a broad national and international movement in which people are claiming streets and making experiments, trials and prototypes. In Paris, a thoroughfare by the Seine has been turned into a beach. In New York, traffic has been cut off to Times Square, and now people lounge in chairs on the former roadway. In San Francisco, parking spaces are slowly being turned into parks.

These experiments are being propagated by artists, advocacy groups and progressive city governments. All over the world people are closing streets to the automobile for a day, a week, a month or a year and experimenting with new ways of defining our city streets. These interventions help us to imagine what is possible in our cities and become catalysts for permanent change.

We invite you to join us over the course of the exhibition to participate in changing San Francisco’s Market Street. What we do here will inspire the new direction of our civic spine and create new models in the worldwide movement to make streets about people.

This project is made possible through the generous support of SPUR and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

In addition, the Studio for Urban Projects would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their help in developing Reclaim Market Street! Individuals: John Bela, Paul Benny, Lisa Beyer, Jennifer Caleshu, Chris Carlsson, Noah Christman, Margaret Crawford, Brianna Cutts, Lisa Ruth Elliott, Courtney Fink, Pepin Gelardi, Blaze Gonzalez, Clive Hacker, Teresa Herrmann, Andy Hill, Gretchen Hilyard, Kit Hodge, Helen Ip, Sarah Karlinsky, Liz Keim, Brett MacFadden, Karen Mauney-Brodek, Blaine Merker, Gabriel Metcalf, Brady Moss, Sabina Nieto, Matthew Passmore, Liza Pratt, Rick Prelinger, Karen Steen, Melinda Stone, Rachel Strickland, Michael Swaine, Scott Thorpe, Anessa Watson, and Anton Willis. Organizations: Bay Area Discovery Museum, MacFadden & Thorpe, Rebar, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Great Streets Project, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), Shaping San Francisco and ULICU.