BIG+ONE+SHERWOOD has been meeting with residents, community leaders, city agencies, and other area stakeholders to begin co-creating a shared vision for a vibrant and resilient future along San Francisco’s Southeast Waterfront. Islais Creek, San Francisco’s largest watershed, hosts the city’s most active maritime port; thriving Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR) jobs; yet is also home to one of the city’s most historically disadvantaged communities. Strained by mounting development and displacement pressures, this area is also highly vulnerable to risks of terrestrial flooding, liquefaction, and sea level rise.

During the first weeks of the Design Phase, we began our efforts in research, data gathering, and planning review to grasp the complexity of Islais Creek, understanding its rich history and current developments, and prepare for the first round of engagement with local stakeholders. Over the first 3 months, we had over 60 meetings with stakeholders including residents, workers, community leaders, and city departments, to address challenges and begin working toward the co-creation of a shared vision of Islais Creek and the Southeast Waterfront.

Our community working group has emerged organically through this process –including among others APRI, Resilient Bayview, and RDJ Enterprises – with the aim to envision a set of possible outcomes for addressing the social, economic, and environmental future of this area. We are reaching out to neighborhood groups and community organizations that serve residents, workers, youth, and seniors, with the hopes of learning from them as early as possible in this process. Together, we hope to take the first step towards a more resilient future for Islais Creek!


Based on initial research findings and our first conversations with community members and city officials, four major goals have emerged as potential aims of the project:

PROTECT – The Shoreline, the Port, businesses, and cultural identity.

RESTORE – A natural and functioning creek, and the water, air, and soil that supports a healthy environment.

CONNECT – People and businesses with access to transit and by connecting the fragmented waterfront and open spaces. Connect infrastructure and utilities in an efficient resource loop.

GROW – Local industry, workforce development, education, local food production, and recreation.

Despo Thoma