Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences


Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

First Advisor

Rachel Brahinsky

Second Advisor

Calvin Welch


The South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco has undergone several transformations, especially since WWII, that have largely characterized the broader relationships among local city government, private interests, and the public in San Francisco. These transformations have included deindustrialization and the restructuring of the local economy after WWII, Urban Renewal, the intensification of office uses, and the first and second technology booms. City planning and the implementation of area plans (a type of city planning development tool) have also played a significant role in facilitating these changes. By historically situating the current moment in San Francisco, this research paper seeks to better understand the role of planning in facilitating these changes during this current moment of tremendous wealth in San Francisco, ushered in by a second technology boom. Specifically, this research paper seeks to critically analyze the neighborhood area plan, the Central SoMa Plan, and speculate on the possible impacts of the plan. Based on the history of development and change in the South of Market, and a review of existing area plans, the argument is made that the changes proposed in the Central SoMa Plan work to actively restructure the neighborhood in order to allow for high- end development at the expense of existing working class residents, low-income communities, and blue-collar jobs.