Parkmerced Vision Plan

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Parkmerced Vision Plan | Notes of Interest

The Parkmerced vision plan is a pioneering neighborhood revitalization program that holistically integrates the best principles of environmental sustainability and neighborhood livability. The project will create a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use neighborhood that reduces automobile dependency; provides improved connectivity to transit; creates larger, more usable open spaces; and relies upon rapidly evolving green technologies in infrastructure to reduce energy and water usage. The project will protect existing residents from displacement and help address the city’s and Bay Area’s current housing shortage for households at all income levels.

Built in the 1940s–1950s to provide housing during and after World War II, Parkmerced was originally designed with the automobile in mind. Today it is a 3,221-unit rental apartment community, with a mix of low-rise garden apartments and mid-rise towers.

The vision plan is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to transform an aging housing complex and its surrounding area into a vibrant, walkable, sustainable community. The 152-acre project includes a range of transportation options and traffic improvements; up to 8,900 units of state-of-the-art housing; a variety of neighborhood amenities; retail, office, and job centers; and usable green space. As one of the most important long-range revitalization projects in the nation, Parkmerced will set the bar for sustainable, transit-oriented communities.

Additional Credit

  • Consultant: Traffic: Steer Davies Gleave
  • Engineer: Civil/Infrastructure: BKF Engineers
  • Engineer: Infrastructure: Carollo Engineers
  • Engineer: Traffic: Adavant Consulting; AECOM
  • Hydrologist: Hydroconsult Engineers, Inc.
  • Landscaping: Tom Leader Studio
  • Sustainability: Stantec

Photo Credit

  • © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP/ © Steve Proehl Studios
  • © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP 
  • © Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP/ © Tom Leader Studio

Parkmerced Vision Plan

Jury Comments

This is one of the most ambitious retrofits of an existing suburban apartment complex with green infrastructure this jury has seen. Instead of typical ‘urban’ or ‘suburban’ streetscapes it will provide a new high-performing, hybrid experience that is both dense and lush with improved connectivity to transit. They’ve added a series of layers to the existing fabric of the mid-century garden suburb development.

It is a credible transformation It is a handsomely designed community with a strongly formal organization that creates human spaces at a localized condition that integrates a full spectrum of sustainable strategies.

More about Parkmerced Vision Plan.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury

  • Mark Shapiro, AIA, Chair
  • Mithun, Inc.
  • Seattle
  • Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Atlanta
  • William A. Gilchrist, FAIA
  • Place Based Planning
  • New Orleans
  • Toni L. Griffin, AIA
  • The City College of New York
  • New York City
  • Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
  • Washington, DC

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