The South of Market, San Francisco design team completed their Action Lab on Sunday, March 4. This third and final Raising Places workshop brought the team together to incorporate prototype feedback, visualize their concepts, host a community event and plan pilots of their most promising ideas.

In the twelve weeks leading up to this milestone, design team members spent time creating, sharing and iterating their visual prototypes. This meant showing pictures of their concepts to both people who might benefit from the ideas and those who might be able to help implement them. 

A visual prototype by the SoMa design team envisioning community-centered development in the neighborhood.

At the lab, the design team reviewed participant feedback and made some tough decisions about which concepts to keep, cut or combine. Then, they quickly got to work on communicating each idea, including a name, photo, description, features and a roadmap for implementation. All this information went onto large concept posters, which were displayed at the community event.

SoMa design team members April Ang and Jerome Reyes write concept descriptions ahead of the team's community event (left); a concept poster for the team's concept to improve pedestrian safety in the South of Market neighborhood (right).

The concepts from this design team include the following:

Barangay Center

A multi-service center that serves as a physical hub for the community to access resources and social services.

SoMa Community Directory

A directory that provides updated information on community services and resources.

POPO Priorities for Children, Youth and Families

A priority list for privately owned public open space (POPO) that describes the POPO’s design features and operation practices that best support children, youth and families.

New Zoning Controls for Youth, Families and Seniors

A new way for the community to prioritize its needs for the youth, family and seniors zone that identifies, prioritizes and controls for the needs of youth, families and seniors of the SoMa community..

Jeepny-Style Transit Service

A shuttle that circulates around the neighborhood between key primary and cultural destinations.  

Theatrical Intersection Program

A program that brings attention to intersection safety through theatrical performances in intersections.

Sidewalk Activation and Lighting Program

A program that engages designers, artists and community members to activate and light South of Market sidewalks.

Some of these concepts are novel ideas, while others are tried-and-true solutions. Either way, the team knows that these ideas are right for their community, right now. Each concept came out of research with residents and stakeholders, was co-created through community brainstorming, and has been grown and shaped by many rounds of feedback and iteration.

Convener Angelica Cabande from the South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN) presents the design team's work to residents at the community event (left); design team member Dyan Ruiz facilitates dialogue with SoMa youth about her team's concept to improve the community (right).

The community event in SoMa was a great success. Over 70 people of all ages attended the event held at the Bayanihan Community Center. The attendees were served lunch while our convener presented them with an overview of the Raising Places process. For the following two hours, design team members presented their concept posters to individuals and small groups. Together, they discussed responses to their open questions, such as, “How can we make this concept even more beneficial for kids,” and, “If this concept were real, what are the potential negative outcomes?” With all this feedback came a lot of engagement and momentum – many individuals signed up to join the teams working on each concept!

The final component of the lab was pilot planning, where the design team laid out the nuts and bolts of running a pilot – short-term test – of each concept over the next 2-3 months. They defined who needs to do what and by when, what success will look like, and how to measure it. They will share pilot results at the Raising Places National Convening in April!

If you’d like to get involved with the Wilmington team as they pilot these promising ideas, please contact the team’s convener. We look forward to seeing this community continue to transform!