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San Francisco: urban development plans and new buildings are changing the city’s skyline 

San Francisco: urban development plans and new buildings are changing the city’s skyline


When someone mentions the word “skyline”, the first place that probably comes to mind is New York City. Of course, the many songs written about the city’s buildings help enforce that initial thought, but fret no more; new skylines are on the horizon. For example, another beloved USA city is San Francisco. Filled with its iconic Victorian-style houses, its sloping streets, and its great general vibe, thanks to its new skyline, the city will become a triple threat. In fact one of the most anticipated upcoming urban developments are the new San Francisco skyline buildings. But what are they planning exactly?

Recently a new skyscraper was inaugurated, and is definitely an interesting marker of what is to come. The Salesforce Tower, a 61-storey, round, and 1,070 feet tall skyscraper is literally, scraping the sky. Now the tallest building in San Francisco, it has replaced the TransAmerica building, and has already changed the skyline. Because of it being located in an old landfill site, which is also prone to earthquakes, the engineers sought to fix the problem by drilling 42 piles 300 feet deep.

And although the Salesforce Tower is already an impressive accomplishment, San Francisco has more, much more planned. One of the first unveilings will be in 2019 with three different openings. The first being the Chase Center 18-000 seat area, new home to San Francisco’s basketball team, the Golden State Warriors. The second, a new subway stop close to the arena. And thirdly, a new shopping area with 100,000 square feet for retail space. Exciting and fresh, the new additions are part of a general plan that aims at redeveloping the city’s old seaport and industrial areas. The project is known as Mission Bay, and covers an area of 4.4 million square feet. The plan also aims at introducing new research centres and medical campuses, schools and libraries, new offices, workshops, hotels, and public spaces in general.

Another similar project is the Parkmerced, which will modernize a space of 152-acre site in the southeast area of San Francisco. The project plans on constructing 230,000 square feet for commercial and real estate purposes, 60,000 for public areas and parks, and 80,000 for office spaces; all set to be finished by 2035.

Along with the various redevelopment plans, San Francisco is also looking to improve their public transport system. At the fourth place in the world for most congested streets, residents have stated that they would be willing to pay higher taxes if that meant bettering the transport system. In order to start solving the problem, the city has invested $2.5 billion in constructing a center that will connect the various transport services, like buses, subways, and trains. The center will be called the Transbay Transit Center, and is set to open in 2030.

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