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2016 Engaging Youth as Civic Activists in the Design and Development of HOPE San Francisco Housing, Creating Spatial Activist

Updated for 2016 EJ conf, Originally presented National Environmental Justice Conference: March 28, 2014, Washington DC

katherine w

on 10 March 2016

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Transcript of 2016 Engaging Youth as Civic Activists in the Design and Development of HOPE San Francisco Housing, Creating Spatial Activist

Engaging Youth
as Civic Activists in the Design and
Development of HOPE San Francisco Housing
To engage students in authentic research about their school, community and city environments.
City of San Francisco
Malcolm X Academy
San Francisco Unified Schools
UC Berkeley Center for Cities & Schools
John Stewart Company
San Francisco NOMA
Year 1
Students identified how the special needs of students and neighbors of all ages and abilities might be incorporated into the final design of this project.
Neighborhood Park and Public Space
Year 2
We engaged in a series of hands-on architecture
and planning projects to identify and document our
visions for how the parks and public space in this
development can catalyze positive change in the
Creative Proposals for Building a Healthy, Sustainable Community
Year 3
How can the needs of young people, especially those at Malcolm X Academy,
be meaningfully integrated into the public spaces in the new development
and the school?
Lessons Learned

1) Kids Love Sustainability

2) Vision is Unlimited

3) Do Not Underestimate Your Partners

4) Kids Are Concerned for All

Pathways, Gateways & Rejuvenation Stations linking Healthy Schools and Communities
Year 4
How can young people help the Hunters View HOPE SF housing developers forge
stronger connections between the school, the neighborhood, and the larger community?
Under Bush administration Federal HOPE VI fund = 0.
Under Mayor Gavin Newsom HOPE SF created as city policy to redevelop the public housing sites
Board of Supervisors committed public funding committed to develop the sites
Developers responded to RFQ
Development teams chosen for 4 sites
Hunters View 1st site to move forward, 1st phase to be completed end of 2013
Increase density on sites
Bring back city grid
Include community centers & parks
Market Rate, Work Force Affordable,
1. Ensure No Loss of Public Housing.

2. Create an Economically Integrated Community.

3. Maximize the Creation of New Affordable Housing.

4. Involve Residents in the Highest Levels of Participation in Entire Project.

5. Provide Economic Opportunities Through the Rebuilding Process.

6. Integrate Process with Neighborhood Improvement Revitalization Plans.

7. Create Environmentally Sustainable and Accessible Communities.

8. Build a Strong Sense of Community.
City of
San Francisco
SF Unified
Malcolm X Academy
UC Berkeley Center for Cities & Schools
John Stewart
Promote high quality education as an essential component of urban vitality to create equitable, healthy and sustainable communities for all.
1999-2002 worked with HUD on the national Youth Leadership for Change effort to engage young people in the redevelopment of HOPE VI housing sites throughout the country.
2009-2011 worked with HOPE SF to sponsor a Youth Leadership Academy to involve high school students with the development teams for the all HOPE SF sites.
2009 engage elementary school, Malcolm X Academy to further align schools, housing and community change, while cultivating leadership at the youngest levels of the life cycle
Katherine Williams:
Licensed architect, community development enthusiast, writer, editor, mom
I became an architect because I went to a career fair when I was about 8. Without that I wouldn’t have really know about this profession. It’s important to expose kids to architecture because it has such a big impact on their lives without them even realizing.
Giving them exposure helps them see it as a career option but also lets them know that some person helped shape the homes they live in, the schools they go to, and the parks in which they play.
Shirl Buss :
Ph.D. Architecture & Planning ; Adjunct Professor in the Department of Design and Industry at San Francisco State; Senior Associate at Leslie Stone Associates in Sausalito; consultant for CC&S.
In the early 1980s, I was a GC for an all female construction company called Building Women. We worked on low-income housing projects and for non-profit organizations. Because we were involved in designing many of the projects we were building, I realized I needed to study architecture. So I went back and got my MArch. Since 1984 I have been passionately involved in engaging elementary school students in architecture and design. I feel that the methods found in the best design studios - critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and cross-disciplinary work – can ignite children’s creativity, and wet their appetite for lifelong learning.
Prescott Reavis :
Community Architect, Planner & Educator connecting and engaging communities and organizations to improve the urban environment with a concentration on youth lead initiatives.

At age 8, I was always drawing cities, I loved our monthly family trips to NYC. My parents where always working with kids and it sent a clear message to me at an early age, this was what we are supposed to do. My true passion is working with communities and specifically youth to develop their skills and knowledge to have their own voices heard about the development and sustainability of their neighborhoods.
To engage students in research about their local environments
To promote a positive sense of place by building upon assets, strengths of the school, neighborhood, and communities
To introduce students to a diverse group of professional planners and architects
To honor students' voices by creating and presenting
their ideas in drawings, models, and artifacts
Study Models
Community Connections
Businesses and Economic Development
Physical Challenges and Recreational Diversity
Treehouse Models / Prototypes
Studying Sustainable Strategies
Cultural Influences in Architecture
Adventure Playground with Treehouse
Sustainable building strategies
“Ecologically Sustainable House”
“Ecologically Sustainable Club House”
Gateways, pathways, and “regeneration stations”
Symbolic gateways
Making it real








http://www.youthfulcities.com/Wrap up

Historical Context
1700's: Native American - Ohlone
1867: 1st Drydock
1868: Slaughter houses
1940: Navy Starts developing
1956: 1st Public housing
1960's: Area becoming more segregated
1970's: Industrial business shutting down
2000's: Third Street Light Rail
2010's: AA reduce 48% to

Asian increase 24% to 30%
White increase 10% to 20%
Building Bridges:
From Our School, To Our Community, To Our World
Year 5
How can the needs of young people, especially those at Malcolm X Academy,
be meaningfully integrated into the public spaces in the new development
and the school?
Towers of Power
Friendship Bridges
Community Connections
Learning Landscapes
Gateways & Pathways
1929: PGE Coal Plant
1945: Navy ship repair
1946: Navy Radiological Defense Laboratory
1969: Lab shut down
1974: Navy Base shut down
1989: Declared a Superfund site
1994: 80% of the city’s sewage is treated Bayview
2006: PGE shut down
By transforming youth from passive citizens waiting for adulthood, to active citizens engaging in social change, this step reinforces that youth will have a voice in decisions that transform policies, make institutions more accountable, and affect their lives.
Where? Hunter's View
What? Hope SF
Every year the world grows by 60 Million people
6.9 Billion 2010 and 8.4 Billion 2030
By 2050
people will live in urban environments
9.6 Billion 2050
1.9 Billion will be under 18
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative - 1996
Youth are not seen as full-fledged citizens

The same rights as adult’s to contribute to development of their hometowns, it demonstrate that it is possible to involve children and young people in authentic, significant and local ways in determining their own future. [UNICEF]
“There’s a quality of imagination that’s very important for the spirit and the soul of the city to maintain.
bring that to a city. A city without
has no future.” Regardless whether it’s called “quality of imagination,” or vibrancy and diversity, or “spirit of the city,“the point remains—
children bring something special to cities which make them a better place to live
Gavin Newson, Former Mayor of San Francisco
Social Justice
& Environment
7 billion people
826,000 people in SF
13.5 % youth or 62, 000
366,000 multifamily units of housing in 2012
No formal polices to require engaging youth
San Francisco Stats - Hunter's Point n'hood
Highest rate of diabetes
Highest rate of breast cancer
2nd most cases of asthma
200 known toxic chemical by EPA
2007: Ranked lowest public housing in SF
2011: 6th highest food desert in US
Health Equity
Public Policy
When programs actually engage youth about their cites and environments, there are positive outcomes in both the physical use of spaces and the how youth view themselves as contributing to the place they live. Youth had increased feelings of self-importance when they could engage in meaningful roles within a partnership.
As of 2013, 192 countries had ratified the 1989 United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child, only the
United States
has not.

Spatial Activist
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Wrap up
Contact Info:
Katherine Williams, AIA | NOMA | LEED AP

Teaching EJ to kids using architecture and planning
Full transcript