University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


This case study examined two waterfront sites on the San Francisco Bay – The Piers in San Francisco and Jack London Square in Oakland. The Piers, actually consisting of Piers 1 ½, 3 and 5, was formerly the point of entry for immigrants to the city and today is home to offices and restaurant space. Jack London Square, which covers four city blocks, is a project whose aim is to revitalize an industrial shipping port and warehousing district. Today, it is about halfway through its phased development schedule. Multiple techniques were used to investigate the process by which these two cities have transformed their waterfronts to improve their economic and environmental possibilities and the problems they have encountered in doing so. Documentation review, interviews with those involved with the two redevelopment projects, and visual observation on site were the means of collecting data which was then triangulated in order to identify patterns and principles of urban waterfront redevelopment. This process also identified three potential points of action for Oakland in its continued development of Jack London Square: 1) a more explicit integration of the Green Movement into the city’s planning strategies, 2) the fostering of a more authentic sense of place on Oakland’s waterfront, and 3) the improvement of Broadway as a connective corridor between Jack London Square and downtown Oakland.