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Vote for the new Civic Center design

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It’s your—ahem—civic duty

Last week the San Francisco Planning Commission considered three new possible redesigns of the city’s beleaguered Civic Center, part of a years-long plan to revamp the space after decades of neglect.

Now, the city’s Civic Center Public Realm Plan is running a survey for San Francisco residents to weigh in with their own opinions.

“Between now and the end of Summer 2018, community input will help the design team consolidate these three frameworks into one preferred plan,” according to the site.

Your vote is only an advisory element, of course, but they are asking. The survey lays out the three basic potential designs presented to the city last week, which each attempt to emphasize a different potential intent and character for the area immediately adjacent to City Hall.

The designs are:

The Public Platform: “A vision for a 21st-century Commons centered on performance: flexible plazas [...] are framed by trees, planting, and sloped lawns and bleacher seats that create places to see and be seen.”

Civic Sanctuary: “Strict rows of trees that frame the public spaces and a defined central spine from Market Street to City Hall recall the formality of the historic Beaux-Arts plan, while contemporary uses and amenities celebrate civic life and SF history.”

Culture Connector: “An inclusive commons that prioritizes ecology, wellness, and variety. An expansive tree canopy loosely frames a civic promenade from Market Street to City Hall and provides a variety of settings for art, commerce, and play.”

The survey asks city dwellers to rank each of the designs for elements such as trees, various lawn arrangements, fountain designs, and how much “open flexible space” each has.

While the three potential news looks were each conceived as separate ideas with entirely different plans, the eventual design that may come out of them will probably mix and match some popular designs.

Of particular note: Hoodline points out that only one of the designs, the “Civic Sanctuary,” preserves and restores the Lawrence Halprin-designed fountain in UN Plaza. The other two have a radically different view of the space.

Alen Ištoković