Newcomb Avenue: A New Green Street in San Francisco

Water Quality Improvement

Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit network of design professionals, designed a traffic-calming, community building, street-greening project for the 1700 block of Newcomb Avenue in San Francisco's low-income Bayview district. This implements San Francisco's citywide green streets plan


Community members and City staff implemented the design for a green streetscape by planting trees and other drought tolerant plants, installing specially designed stormwater-filtering planters to infiltrate stormwater runoff, installing traffic calming chicanes, and by creating community gathering places. Since the construction has been completed, SFEI has worked with the City and County of San Francisco to monitor the area to quantify reductions in stormwater runoff due to these improvements. Due to needed construction alterations, a third year of monitoring is expected to quantify the incremental stormwater improvements resulting from improved “Low Impact Design” (LID) construction components. The City and County will also document maintenance costs and compare pre- and post-project traffic speeds, and the pre- and post-project value of adjacent properties.

It is hoped that this project will further public acceptance and understanding of LID concepts, demonstrate the effectiveness of multi-purpose green infrastructure projects; and reduce stormwater flows and pollutants going into the Estuary.

Photo: James Muller