Temporary City Beaches

August 1, 2009 at 12:08 am 1 comment

There are many ways to reprogram city streets to provide free fun and relaxation opportunities for an overworked, financially stretched population. In 2002 Paris launched its Paris Plage system, bringing in sand and umbrellas to turn the Georges Pompidou Expressway, which runs by the Seine, into a free beach. In 2007, the Mayor of Mexico City also carted in sand to turn areas of the hot city into free beaches. Both programs have attracted huge, growing crowds, and continue to thrive.

Though San Francisco is relatively rich in beaches, the spirit of these instant beaches begs the question of how we can re-imagine our own streets to provide space for families, all kinds of San Franciscans and visitors to relax and have fun. Sunday Streets is a great, successful example of an event-based approach to using city streets for better social and health purposes. A more semi-permanent installation in the spirit of these seasonal beaches, is the next step.


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Internship Join us for a Party

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jeremy Shaw  |  August 20, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Also, small towns have gotten in on the fun. North Adams, Mass, after decades of low employment and downtown neglect has re-created itself.. with Mass MoCA, employers returning, and 10 YEARS of the annual eagle street beach party.

    The end.

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Our Mission

The San Francisco Great Streets Project catalyzes the return of our city’s streets to their rightful place as the center of civic life in this wonderful city by working with government, business, and neighborhood leaders to test, analyze and institutionalize placemaking.


Kit Hodge
San Francisco Great Streets Project
995 Market Street, #1550
San Francisco, CA 94103
kit [at] sfgreatstreets DOT org
415-431-2453 x313

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