San Francisco

Reclaim Market Street!

Temporary Urban Experiments in Creating New Public Spaces

In 2015, Market Street will be remade as the culmination of a four-year public process called the Better Market Street Project. Reclaim Market Street!, created by the Studio for Urban Projects, augments this ongoing community program by staging a series of interventions that engage the public in changing the street. Accompanying these events is an exhibition at SPUR that provides context for these pilot projects.

The exhibition highlights the many ways in which cities, nationally and internationally, are engaged in reimagining their public spaces through experimental urban planning. Believing that artists can be provocative agents in helping us to reimagine our cities, the Studio for Urban Projects—in collaboration with artists, activists, designers and city officials—has created this project as a way of helping us to claim Market Street in this crucial moment.

Provocative national and international examples such as Paris’ Plages, Bogota’s Cyclovia, and New York’s Times Square pedestrian plaza will be illustrated with films, images, and descriptions connecting San Francisco to efforts around the world advocating for more livable streets. The exhibition will draw from Market Street’s history, citing ephemeral events that have shaped the spirit of the street and created the rich heritage it will draw from in the future.

The exhibition will be paired with a series of public events led by the Studio for Urban Projects and SPUR that engage the public in participating in the street’s potential futures. The exhibition will furnish the kit of parts for each participatory event. Collectively, these elements will create a program that aims to inspire the dialog shaping Market Street.


Register here for all events >>

Saturday, October 1, 11 am - 3 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Occupations of Market Street tour
A walking tour with Chris Carlsson amplifying the street as the stage for history, political dialogue and activism.
Location: Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building


Saturday, October 8, 12 - 5 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Sidewalk Intervention
Redefining the social life of Market Street through artists' interventions.
Location: Market Street, sites from UN Plaza to 5th Street


Saturday, October 15, 1 - 9 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Plaza Intervention
1 - 5 pm: play, 7 pm: film
By day the plaza will feature David Rockwell's Imagination Playground. By night the plaza will be transformed for a film screening with Melinda Stone, Rick Prelinger and Liz Keim.
Location: UN Plaza (Market Street between 7th & 8th Streets)


Saturday, October 22, 1 - 5 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Street Intervention
An inspired bike ride down Market Street with Rebar, the San Francisco Bike Coalition and the San Francisco Great Streets Project.
Location: Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building


Tuesday, November 15, 6 - 8 pm
Reclaim Market Street! William H. Whyte's The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces
Whyte's seminal 1980 film that presents witty and insightful views on what makes public space thrive.
Location: SPUR Urban Center (654 Mission Street)
Limited capacity, please RSVP.


Register here for all events >>


Exhibition is free to the public.
Donations appreciated.
Register here for all events >>