San Francisco has been a hotspot of Y-PLAN activity this year. Now in our 14th year working in San Francisco, we are thrilled to be supporting over 110 elementary and high school students at the following schools:

  • Elementary: Malcolm X, Monroe, Sloat

  • High School: Balboa HS

This year, San Francisco students are informing two different city and regional planning agencies. The San Francisco Planning Department has committed to a long-term partnership with the Center for Cities + Schools to increase the voice of young people in citywide planning processes and policies. Meanwhile, San Francisco is also represented in our regional project with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments preparing for the schools of 2050. Read on to learn more about our current San Francisco Y-PLAN projects.

‘Affordable Housing Access for All’ say Balboa HS students

In response to our region’s current housing crisis, Balboa HS students are tackling ways to equitably house all San Franciscans now and in the future. With guidance from the SF Planning Department and the Y-PLAN team, students conducted neighborhood mapping around their school site and surveyed over 250 people in the community on their current housing conditions and challenges with affordability and access. The data they collected is informing their emerging proposals, which include tiny homes with wraparound services for the homeless, turning vacant lots into dorms or sleeping pod rentals for temporary use, tunneling freeways to create land for housing, taxing Airbnb and using revenue to subsidize affordable units, and more. In a city surrounded on three sides by water, Balboa HS students have risen to the geographic design constraints, focusing on repurposing existing spaces and conditions to increase better housing options for all San Franciscans.


Sloat Elementary Students Submit ‘How Our City Works’ Book for Local Bookmaking Contest

First grade students at Sloat Elementary School spent part of this semester studying “how our city works” as part of their Y-PLAN experience. They recently submitted a book to the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition – sponsored by the Contemporary Jewish Museum, SFUSD and the San Francisco Public Library. The students studied various dimensions and dynamics of the city.

To amplify their understanding and bring the whole experience to life, the students represented their knowledge and interpretation through the eyes of native California animals and compiled their designs into a class art book. To quote the barn owl, the whole experience was “a hoot!"

Monroe & Malcolm X Elementary Students Tackle Public Space and Amenities along Our Streets and Shoreline

Second and fourth graders at Monroe Elementary School have also been working with SF Planning to create safer, cleaner, and greener streets, public spaces, and businesses along the Mission Street corridor. Similarly, Malcolm X fourth-graders are continuing their work from last year envisioning public space and community building opportunities along Islais Creek to raise awareness of sea level rise. These Y-PLAN student scholars are utilizing their lived experience as experts in their communities to support their proposals for a better, more livable, and friendly city.

To learn more about our work in San Francisco elementary schools, click here.