Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2019 Clare I Blackwell
Bayview Hunters Point is at the epicenter of environmental justice issues in San Francisco. The district has historically been the location of the city’s most polluting industries, as well as some of its poorest residents and its greatest concentration of public housing. As the city’s zoning developed over the twentieth century, the southeastern neighborhood on the bay became a patchwork of industrial and residential parcels of land, fueling spatial injustice, in particular a lack of access to public open space.
Increasing greenspace would likely address spatial injustice in Bayview Hunters Point. However, green gentrification–the consequence of resident displacement as a result of large-scale urban greening efforts–has proven to be an issue in many cities across the country. Community-led design and development of small-scale public spaces may be a solution to the demand for additional open space while protecting the community from runaway gentrification and the associated negative impacts of displacement. Applying community-led design as an equitable development strategy, I propose increasing greenspace in Bayview Hunters Point by harnessing the social and economic potential of San Francisco’s unaccepted streets.
In this thesis I examine the historical events and land use policies that gave rise to the current spatial injustice in Bayview Hunters Point. I then examine how this issue has been addressed in various contexts over time. I conclude with a site-specific design proposal for a series of unaccepted streets that together create a network of greenspace which could allow residents greater access to public open space and the waterfront. I argue that green infrastructure that is constructed through the process of equitable development can address spatial injustice and create social, economic, and infrastructural change, improving the health and wellbeing of residents.
Blackwell, Clare, "Unaccepted Streets in Bayview Hunters Point: Addressing Spatial Injustice Through Public Open Space" (2020). Scripps Senior Theses. 1494.