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Ocean Beach: SPUR Takes a Long Look Into The Future

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[Ocean Beach Bulldozer via mark.hogan/Curbed Flickr Pool]

The massive erosion along Ocean Beach in the last decade- closing down a stretch of Great Highway- came as a wake-up call for our local stretch of coastline. Once bordered by vast open sand dunes, the shore was barely acknowledged by San Franciscans until trolleys made it accessible in the 1890s. Later came an amusement park, a zoo, the world's largest salt-water pool, and sewage treatment. Fast forward to concerns about nesting plovers. With no single agency responsible for the various aspects of the beach, SPUR- our independent urban-planning think tank- is taking a long-range look. From the April issue of Urbanist:

The plan will consider Ocean Beach as a whole place: as an urban promenade, a changing coastline, a key segment of the GGNRA, a habitat corridor and a major infrastructure complex. But as much as these aspects are interdependent, the conversation about Ocean Beach invariably returns to the most pressing crisis: the erosion at the south end of the beach and the infrastructure that lies in its path. To plan meaningfully for Ocean Beach as an open space, we must define an approach to coastal management that balances infrastructure needs, natural-resource values and the realities of a changing climate.The piece is short, to the point, and worth the read if only to get a simple grasp of a web of interlocking issues and constituencies. So yes, there's sea level rise and the sewage plant, two endangered species, plus human activity- surfers, dog owners, automobiles, cyclists, pedestrians and people living in tsunami zones; rerouting Great Highway around the zoo, and how to somehow link the beach to Golden Gate Park without offending pesky park preservation partisans. Take it a step further and look over the .pdfs and videos embedded in this more comprehensive overview; have a look at the Ocean Beach Bulletin recap; or if you must have social media, there's even a Facebook page. Meanwhile:

Click on image to open in a new window. Credit: SPUR via Ocean Beach Bulletin]
· The Future of Ocean Beach [SPUR]
· Your Thoughts On Ocean Beach [SPUR]
· Ocean Beach Master Plan drafts big changes for Ocean Beach [Ocean Beach Bulletin]
· Ocean Beach Master Plan (San Francisco) [Facebook]

Ocean Beach

1000 Great Highway, San Francisco, CA 94121

Spur Urban Meeting Center

654 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA