Buchanan Mall Chronicles

#BuchananChange is a community-supported project to renovate the Buchanan Mall park. We’re working to create jobs, engage residents, catalyze city investment, and improve public safety.

#BuchananChange is a community-supported project to renovate the Buchanan Mall park. We’re working to create jobs, engage residents, catalyze city investment, and improve public safety.

Since 2010, Green Streets, a community-operated waste-management enterprise founded in Hayes Valley public housing, has teamed with Citizen Film to share their stories through documentary film screenings. This collaboration brings residents and leaders together to look frankly at neighborhood issues and develop a shared vision of change. Key to this vision is ongoing neighborhood cleanup and recycling, which creates jobs.

Now, Green Streets, Citizen Film and the Exploratorium’s Studio for Public Spaces are working with the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department—thanks to a grant from the Trust for Public Land—to redesign what many residents consider to be “a no-man’s land” between seven public housing communities. In October, the Buchanan Mall Design Task Force, which includes community youth and elders, will pilot design concepts for the five-block corridor. Ideas include youth-designed signs, audio boxes with stories of local history from African-American elders, and a science and technology based installation showing how recycling and composting generates revenue for the community.

The entire community will be invited to contribute ideas for the installation. We will solicit ongoing feedback and designs will evolve with community input.

June 25th Meeting: 3D Models

June 25th Meeting: 3D Models

The Design Task Force met for the fourth week on June 25th to participate in a 3D modeling exercise. This exercise expanded on last week’s 2D drawings by asking the Task Force to think about their ideas in 3 dimensions and with a larger group.

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June 18th Meeting: Buchanan Sketches

June 18th Meeting: Buchanan Sketches

The Studio for Public Spaces introduced a preliminary site plan and site logic to get feedback from the group. Each participant weighed in and presented their own ideas to the group, marking their locations of choice on this site plan.

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June 10th Design Task Force Meeting

June 10th Design Task Force Meeting

The Design Task Force had its first meeting on June 10th, 2015.

The Design Task Force is made up of members of the community, young and old, who have committed to six months of work with the Design Team to engage, collaborate with and listen to the larger community. The Design Task Force participates in weekly community meetings, design and creation of a revitalization project that aims to enhance and activate the Buchanan Mall open space. The opinions and ideas of the Design Task Force are an important part of creative placemaking intended to transform an unsafe corridor into a vital stretch of history, storytelling and opportunity.

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Buchanan Mall Walkthrough

Buchanan Mall Walkthrough

Green Streets visited the Exploratorium’s Studio for Public Spaces for a meeting and sketch session. Afterwards, they brought the architects back to Hayes Valley for a tour through the Buchanan Mall. Tyrone, Roger, Shannon, Jammal and Randolph weren’t just pointing out landmarks; they shared the personal memories and stories they associated with each block.

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Sketch Session @ The Exploratorium

Sketch Session @ The Exploratorium

Phase 1 of the design process: free drawing. The designers and architects of the Exploratorium’s Studio for Public Spaces invited the Green Streets team to their studio to envision the built possibilities in the Buchanan Mall. Each sketch illustrates the many ways in which this project can increase safety, spark dialogue and bring communities from all sides of the corridor together.

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Exploratorium Partners with Green Streets to Revitalize Buchanan Mall

Exploratorium Partners with Green Streets to Revitalize Buchanan Mall

We’re excited to announce that the Exploratorium’s Studio for Public Spaces will be joining Green Streets, Citizen Film, the Trust for Public Land, San Francisco Rec & Park and members of the Western Addition community to support the revitalization of the Buchanan Mall.

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BEETS and Green Streets

BEETS and Green Streets

All the best meetings are in the garden!

The Band of Environmentally-Educated and Employable Teens have planted seeds all over the Bay Area, from Hayward Rec Center to the African American Arts and Cultural Center right here in Buchanan Mall. Green Streets met with the BEETS to brainstorm the types of plants and gardens that could grow in the Mall when we launch our park revitalization project this summer.

BEETS is a program of CommunityGrows, which cultivates healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities.

Gathering Community Input

Gathering Community Input

Here’s what the locals had to say about the installations and experiences they want in the Buchanan Mall.

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Take the Buchanan Mall Survey!

Take the Buchanan Mall Survey!

Tyrone and Jojo investigated the community’s response to the revitalization of Buchanan Mall. The guys surveyed approximately 50 community members about what the Mall means to them currently, and what it could mean in the future.

Want to participate? Take the surveys!

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