Historically, Bayview-Hunters Point has had the highest rates of home ownership among Black people in San Francisco but has suffered from generations of environmental injustice and neglect for basic infrastructure. Today, development of a network of parks along the southern waterfront is creating an opportunity for residents to envision the future of their neighborhood and economically participate in the investments being made there. Created in 1999, Heron’s Head Park was born out of the environmental justice movement, led by community activists including Marie Harrison, which successfully mobilized a coalition to shut down a PG&E plant. It offered a vision for how the shoreline could be restored and has been stewarded by Literacy for Environmental Justice, which employs local youth as “eco-apprentices.” LEJ also works at Candlestick Point Park. In 2014, the decommissioned power plant site was turned into an event space called NOW Hunters Point, designed by architecture firm Envelope with spatial justice activist Liz Ogbu lizogbu.com. By design, community members contributed ideas for the site and the project supported hundreds of events planned by locals. It also created a forum for residents to contribute ideas to the development of nearby Hunters Point Shoreline Park, built in 2017. On the final stretch of undeveloped land, plans for the India Basin Shoreline Park are underway. The SFRPD and the Trust for Public Land are working with local leaders including the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Community-led efforts created an Equitable Development Plan, directing how the park will catalyze economic opportunities, promote workforce development, create housing security, and support community health for Bayview’s residents.
This video animates Packard Jenning’s illustration of Bayview-Hunters Point Shoreline Parks in Alison Sant’s book, From the Ground Up: Local Efforts to Create Resilient Cities (Island Press, 2022). Music: “Foie Gras Trot” by Extra Action Marching Band on MS Stubnitz Records.