2020 National Planning Conference

San Francisco Urban Transformations

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 10:45 a.m. - noon PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198162

Location: 2022

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  • Understand the advance planning work and economic factors behind San Francisco's recent development boom.
  • Learn about the growing pains that such intensive growth induces, and learn about ways in which the city is working to address equity and displacement concerns.
  • Learn about prior instances when the city experienced significant growth, similarities and differences with the current period, and perspectives on opportunities and challenges facing San Francisco now and in the future.


The San Francisco economy emerged from the Great Recession more quickly and with greater force than did many other cities. Resurgence was fueled by a combination of high-tech/S.T.E.M. sector growth and significant prior area planning efforts enabling new development capacity in many areas. Recent years have witnessed a tremendous urban renaissance. In the Transbay Area, South of Market, Hayes Valley, and Mission Bay, development is proceeding at a rapid pace, with additional areas at Treasure Island, Parkmerced, Central SoMa, the Hub, and others continuing to come online. This fortuitous combination of timely advance planning and the demand for economic growth are spurring the opportunity for economic growth and community reinvestment in addition to significant challenges to social equity, displacement of longtime residents, and homelessness. Moderating the discussion is local filmmaker Ron Blatman, Executive Producer of "Saving the Bay: The Story of San Francisco Bay" and the TV series "Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis," highlighting examples of urban redevelopment throughout the U.S. and Canada. Blatman guides a conversation with high-profile leaders from the planning, economic development, urban advocacy and architecture sectors on San Francisco’s urban transformation on the city’s past, present, and future.

This course is approved to offer 1.25 LUs (AIA).

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Session Speakers

Leo Chow
San Francisco, CA

Nadia Sesay
Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure

John S. Rahaim
City and County of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Ron Blatman
Saving the City: Remaking the American Metropolis documentary series

Allison N. Albericci, AICP
City and County of San Francisco, Planning Department
San Francisco, CA

Kristen Wang
San Francisco, CA

Mark A. Schwettmann
San Francisco, CA