Lower Haight Seeks Creative Project Proposals For Public Realm Plan

The Lower Haight is about to get a dose of beautification.

Back in October 2015, we first caught wind of the Lower Haight Public Realm Plan, a community-based initiative "to enhance and invigorate public spaces in the Lower Haight" that was heavily supported by District 5 Supervisor London Breed. (A similar public realm project is underway in the Upper Haight.)

Initially brought to the table by the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association (LoHaMNA), the plan has now secured a $50,000 grant from the Planning Department to "install, build or maintain creative projects that encourage interactivity, communication and inspiration for the Lower Haight neighbor," LoHaMNA board member Robert Patterson said in a statement this week.

Now, the program is accepting proposals for what to do with the funds, via the Planning Department's GroundPlay program. 

"The grant is very open ended," writes Patterson. "It could be used for temporary art installations, permanent art installations, micro-improvements to buildings or blocks ... building parklets and gardenscapes, organizing events, pop-up galleries, lighting installations, signage improvements," and more.

"There literally is no end to what the funds could be used for—do not limit your creativity. The only restriction is the amount of the grant."

The window for submissions is now open, and they'll be accepted through April 3rd. 

Applicants should note that projects must be maintained by their sponsor, but part of the requested amount can be designated for stewardship of the proposed space or installation.

Also, SF Planning Department guidelines state that the proposal cannot be used "to remedy deferred maintenance, abate litter or graffiti, or do sidewalk or street maintenance. [It] shall be used solely for temporary projects or programming located within the public realm."

Planning, SF Public Works and SFMTA will review each project for adherence to the guidelines. Projects should enhance the public realm, increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists, provide for innovative streetscapes, create green spaces when possible, and/or celebrate the Lower Haight's unique character in general. 

"Depending on the amount and scope of entries, we may split the project into various grants or use it all for one," wrote Patterson. "Public participation in the review and implementations will be done as well, with additional outreach coordinated via SF Planning."

For more information and a full list of submission guidelines, click here. LoHaMNA will also host a March 13th meeting at 7:30pm at Black Sands, where they'll be fielding further questions about the program.

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Lower haight seeks creative project proposals for public realm plan