In San Francisco, developers who want to build big projects are required to make space available to the public as part of their planning permission. Some of the most beautiful spots in town are in these privately owned public spaces. But you'd be hard-pressed to discover their existence, as many of them are hidden away with tiny, obscure signs announcing them, and in some cases, you have to sign in with a guard to get to them. Writing on SFGate, John King lays out the problem and suggests some solutions:
The solution: pull back the addition's 11th floor to tuck in a terrace that also maintains views from the west of the 1906 landmark's regal mansard roof.
The result is unique, a vantage point of the sort that until now was available only to penthouse dwellers or corner-office executives. The space itself is amply outfitted with benches and planters.
The problem, again, is knowing that it exists.
The 1985 plan states that when public spaces are located within or on top of buildings, "their availability should be marked visibly at street level." But because the guidelines are so vague, it's easy to fulfill their letter but not their spirit.
That's true of One Kearny's hideaway. By placing the sign at knee level - and making it less than 5 inches wide - the likelihood of outsiders finding their way to the roof is almost nil.
At another recent space, the enclosed plaza included as part of the Millennium Tower, the exterior sign is brushed metal. But at 6 inches square, it's too easy to miss.
Compare this with the signs required for similar private-but-public spaces in New York City. The city's planning code requires signs to be "12 inches square in dimension and dark green or black in color with a highly contrasting background," with "lettering at least two inches in height stating 'OPEN TO PUBLIC.' "
Privately owned public spaces: Guidance needed
Berlin’s Raubdruckerin (“Pirate Printer”) roam the world’s great cities — places like Paris, Amsterdam and Lisbon — and apply ink-rollers directly to the prettiest manhole and utility covers they can find, then print tees, hoodies, posters and bags to sell with them.
It’s no secret that San Francisco’s cops hate cyclists — they won’t investigate hit-and-runs, they blame cyclists for accidents and harass them, they run them down in bike lanes — so it’s no surprise that they stand by idly while San Francisco’s busy biking lanes are turned into pick-up and drop-off zones by Uber and […]
The crowdsourced database that was use to seed locations to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go came from early augmented reality games that were played by overwhelmingly affluent (and thus, disproportionately white) people, who, in an increasingly racially segregated America, are less and less likely to venture into black neighborhoods, meaning that fewer Pokemon-catching landmarks have […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]