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Re-Commoning the Frontier

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Authors: Neeraj Bhatia & Blake Stevenson

Commissioned by:
Piero N. Patri Fellowship in Urban Design

Liz Lessig

Published September 2017
302 pages

[Re] Commoning the Frontier explores how displacement of existing residents in gentrifying neighborhoods can be mitigated. Focusing on San Francisco’s Southeast Waterfront, the design-research project examines two primary causes of displacement—economic necessity and cultural estrangement. This book divides the study into three sections that move from a historical analysis to a present-day stock-taking to future projections. Chapter 1, The Factory of San Francisco, unpacks the various forms of development and manufacturing along the Southeast Waterfront and their unique imprint on the culture and residents of these neighborhoods. Chapter 2, Re-Urbanizing the Frontier, summarizes the current wave of development in an attempt to understand the transformations—physically as well as demographically—that are soon to occur in the Southeast Waterfront. The final chapter, Mitigating Displacement, hones in how we can create tangible techniques to hold onto the unique cultures, uses, and people in the Southeast Waterfront. A combination of design and research, this chapter is divided into two approaches—one that operates at the scale of the individual and addresses property ownership and one that examines the scale of the collective and seizes cultural opportunities.