San Francisco Pins Utopian Hopes on Treasure Island

San Francisco has always been home to utopian dreamers. With a clean slate to work on in the middle of the bay, the city has drafted plans for a sustainable utopia. With politics and money kicking in, will the dream be dashed?

Writer Jeremy Adam Smith reflects on the history of utopian planned cities, from Ebenezer Howard's Garden City to architectural eco-villages in China. Will the Treasure Island plan go the way of those well-intentioned ideas, or could it be built as planned?

"...Treasure Island is in some ways quite different from those projects. Its commitments to stormwater wetlands and clean energy are legally binding, unlike in China. And unlike the Chinese projects - or, for that matter, Stevenage - the Treasure Island redevelopment has been subjected to 15 years of intense expert scrutiny and public involvement. During a recent trip to Treasure Island, I saw signs everywhere advertising meetings for residents to give feedback on the project. When I asked one two-year resident if he'd had a chance to make his voice heard, he just laughed. 'I've had too much opportunity!' he said. 'I'm sick of hearing about it!'"

Other voices heard in the story are very concerned that Treasure Island is basically landfill, making it susceptible to earthquakes and flooding due to climate change.

Full Story: Can a City Build a Better Version of Itself?


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