Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Urban planning strategies, Ensure continuity with ecological network

Green Connections project

A short description of the NSB

San Francisco’s rich and varied landscape of parks, recreational facilities, and open spaces are one of the city’s most beloved resources, and a major attraction for residents and visitors alike. Green Connections project aims to increase access to parks, open spaces, and the waterfront by envisioning a network of ‘green connectors’ – city streets that will be upgraded incrementally over the next 20 years to make it safer and more pleasant to travel to parks by walking, biking, and other forms of active transportation. The project aims to make the City more healthy, sustainable, and liveable through features such as pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, street trees and other landscaping, stormwater management, and opportunities for beautification, public art, and community stewardship. It is a two year project, funded by planning grant from the State of California Strategic Growth Council. The deliverables of the project include: • SF Plant Finder: an online, searchable database that provides gardeners and designers with recommendations for climate-appropriate plants they can use in backyards, rights-of-way, and other urban spaces to support ecological diversity, • Green Connections Network: a map of 24 routes (115 miles) across the City that will be improved to better connect people to parks and open spaces, • Design Toolkit: a set of 18 design typologies for street intersections and blocks that could be applied to routes based on local conditions and priorities, • Green Connections Community Resource List: a guide for community members who want to get involved in designing and implementing Green Connections routes, which includes examples of programs, grants, and other resources available to help, • Green Connections Ecology Guides: a narrative describing each route and providing recommendations for plants that promote target species and habitats – plants and animals that serve an important ecological function and are ideally suited to the area, • Neighbourhood Concept Designs: preliminary designs for routes in Bayview-Hunters Point, Chinatown, Potrero Hill, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley, and Western Addition.

NBS Implementation context
Location San Francisco (USA)
Status (from - to) Ongoing (since 2014)
NBS Scale City
NBS Impacts scale City
Urban density/ Soil consumption • High (dense city center, etc.) • Medium • Low (suburb at the limit with rural areas, etc.)
NBS Typology

NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
NBS Stakeholders & Governance

The project is a collaborative effort of the San Francisco Planning Department, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Department of Public Health, the Mayor’s Office of Housing, and three community-based organizations Nature in the City, San Francisco Parks Alliance and Walk San Francisco.

Initial actors (Leaders) Governments • Local government/municipality • Semi-government organizations / institutions, Community • NGO’s / CSO’s / interest groups • Research institutions
Involved actors Governments • Local government/municipality • Semi-government organizations / institutions, Community • NGO’s / CSO’s / interest groups • Research institutions
Ecological scale City scale green networks
Governance model CLUSTER 1: Traditional public administration • Closed governance
NBS Financial aspects

The project is funded by planning grant from the State of California Strategic Growth Council.

Global (estimated) cost of the project -
Financing mechanism CLUSTER 1: Public financing
NBS Business Models Archetype
Technological -
Social Non applicable
Organisational Non applicable
NBS Success and limiting factors
Process enablers
Knowledge Non applicable
Governance -
Economy Collaboration • Co-creation, Information accessibility and sharing • Knowledge platforms
Process inibitors
Knowledge Process efficiencies • Collaboration, Co-creation and participation • Involvement of urban government
Governance De-risking • Public de-risking strategies
Economy -
IM Keywords