Hayes Valley, San Francisco
Linden Alley is one of San Francisco’s most pioneering and celebrated “living alleys.” Once an unremarkable side street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, Linden Alley is now a thriving pedestrian-oriented destination featuring seating, landscaping and local businesses such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Smitten Ice Cream and Dark Garden.
Inspired by European woonerf, or shared streets, BUILD’s Loring Sagan, in partnership with architect David Winslow, spent nearly five years shepherding the greening of Linden Alley through a complex bureaucratic process. Since then, the City of San Francisco has now established both a Living Alleys Toolkit and a Plazas Program to facilitate the conversion of similar underutilized streetscapes into pedestrian-friendly entities. Linden Alley has been hailed as a successful model for shared public spaces in the Bay Area and beyond. It is now a gathering place for locals, tourists and neighbors on a regular basis.