Urban design in San Francisco: Innovation, contestation, and critique

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


San Francisco was the world’s first city to adopt an urban design plan in 1971, which has been in use until today. This plan played a critical role in the history of urban design: philosophically and methodologically, it was representative of an urban design paradigm shift from modernist to postmodernist traditions in the 1960–70s. However, contestation has characterised the making and implementation of such a plan, in a city known for its liberal, progressive culture. I employ an extended intellectual lens that goes beyond the plan itself to examine the plan’s innovation and contestation. I further critique the plan’s validity and applicability in the 21st century. Today’s urban setting is fundamentally different from the mid and late 20th century, when the plan and the urban design orthodoxy as we know it now were created, and calls for explorations of new urban thinking and design approach.
Period9 Jun 2021
Held atZhejiang University, China
Degree of RecognitionInternational