Proposal 4: Build on the outskirts of John McLaren Park
The proposal: John McLaren Park is 317 acres, making it the second-biggest park in SF. And if you go there, it always seems almost completely deserted. There have to be parts that are barely used where we could build some much-needed housing, right? There’s a whole stretch of land by Geneva Ave to the east of Crocker Amazon Playground that seems like it might make a nice place to live.
The community planning policy director’s take: “I was just there! Still, while McLaren Park is not an iconic part of San Francisco, and I will not argue there aren’t very many people there, it’s important to have parks and places outdoors for people to walk and hike and take a break from their unnatural settings. It’s also really important to keep those natural resources. We need a place for storm water to be absorbed and native plants to grow. Plus, it’s in a lower-income part of the city, and we really shouldn’t take away their resources.”
Proposal 5: Build housing into the hills
The proposal: We’re not saying we want people living in basements and bomb shelters like in Beijing, but is there a reason we can’t create earth shelters and underground housing? An architecture firm in Mexico City drew up plans for a 300-meter-deep inverted pyramid that would house 5,000 people. And in Adelaide, South Australia, 80% of the population lives in subterranean homes carved from rock. Instead of massively changing the landscape on the outside, why not change it on the inside?
The community planning policy director’s take: “That sounds difficult, if only because of the infrastructure. How will the people get access to sewers and power? Are you building roads or are they hiking to their home? Plus, there are building requirements around light and air. Earth sheltering might make sense in a lot of places but not in SF.”
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Daisy Barringer is an SF-based writer who kinda thinks living in a sea tower would be fun. Her Saint Bernard, Monkey, disagrees. Follow them both on Twitter: @daisy.