Public Space

Chess-in defies SFPD crackdown


By Christina Aanestad

More than 50 people crowded Market Street with tables, chairs, chess and other board games Sunday for a "Chess-in," a response to the San Francisco Police Department's closure of a decades-long San Francisco tradition of sidewalk chess.

"We had no say in the decision,” said Marvin Boykins, a 35 year veteran chess player.Read more »

On its fifth anniversary, Sunday Streets offers a lesson in urban experimentation


It’s hard to believe that Sunday Streets -- San Francisco’s version of the ciclovia, or temporary closure of streets to cars as a way of opening up more urban space for pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, performers, and loungers -- is five years old. It’s even harder to believe that this family-friendly event was once controversial, especially feared by the businesses that now clamor to hold them in their neighborhoods.Read more »

Welcome to San Francisco’s 'Internet of Things'


In this week’s issue of the Guardian, we spotlight a pair of pilot projects that introduce a new technology to San Francisco.

Using converted streetlights that can do a lot more than just illuminate city blocks, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) ultimately hopes to link a variety of city operations and infrastructure into a centralized, digitally integrated network. Proponents have pronounced the initiative to be an exciting venture into an “Internet of Things” paradigm, in which services are organized around real-time data sharing.

Read more »

Milk Plaza vote raises public-space issues


The supervisors will vote Jan. 31 on new rules for the use of Harvey Milk Plaza and Jane Warner Plaza, rules that could have an impact on the future use of small public parklets. Sup. Scott Wiener introduced the legislation, which has stirred up a lot of opposition -- and in the end, the decision will probably come down to how Sup. David Chiu decides to vote. Read more »