Streetsblog SF Covers SPUR Event with Panelist Teresa Jan

By Roger Rudick, an editor at Streetsblog San Francisco November 29, 2022

Our Involvement

On November 17th at the SPUR Urban Center in San Francisco, Multistudio’s Director of Climate Positive Design, Teresa Jan, joined Arup Planning Policy Practice Leader Kate White, Perkins&Will Urban Design Principal Geeti Silwal, and SPUR San Francisco Director Sujata Srivastava to discuss San Francisco’s inequitable history of freeway construction, and discuss freeing up the land they sit on for higher and better civic uses. Teresa focused on the Central Freeway and its impact on civic life, land use, property values, and health. She shared several scenarios from the work of our multidisciplinary team around how the freeway could be repurposed or eliminated in favor of housing and open space.

Our team also includes Bob Baum, Sean Zaudke, and Liz Thelen-Torres of Multistudio, Patricia Algara, Founding Principal of BASE Landscape Architecture, and Larry Badiner, Principal of Badiner Urban Planning. Each of our firms has worked in the shadow of the freeway overpass and understands its impacts firsthand.

SPUR Talk: Bury or Tear Down US‑101 and the Central Freeway

Following this event, Roger Rudick (an editor at Streetsblog SF) published an article entitled SPUR Talk: Bury or Tear Down US-101 and the Central Freeway about the event and the initiatives community members and organizations are taking to explore alternative futures for San Francisco’s freeways.

Our team’s intent is not to dictate a solution for the Central Freeway, that would need to be decided through a community process. It’s to participate in a conversation about what is possible, as San Francisco strives to become a more environmentally focused, pedestrian-friendly, and transit-rich city.

Rendering by Multistudio.

Teresa Jan contributed to the conversation with visuals to support the conversation and by lending her knowledge from research about the area and the systemic issues that are embedded in the built environment of cities. This infrastructure, explained Teresa Jan, mostly followed redlining maps and divided communities by race and socio-economic status.

“Freeways deeply impact home ownership to the present day,” she said. “The constant flow of the traffic … is the main source of noise pollution to the adjacent neighborhoods. It contributes to tinnitus, cognitive impairment … and other preventable health problems including bronchitis, emphysema, abnormal heart rhythm, congestive heart failure, and stroke.”

Teresa put forth several initial suggestions on behalf of the team, proposing removing pieces of the elevated portions of the Central Freeway to let light through, creating a more pedestrian-friendly experience with opportunities for a light rail, green space, and possible restoration of Mission Creek to mitigate frequent flooding in the riparian area around the freeway.

Multistudio asterisk