Linden Alley is one of San Francisco's most pioneering and celebrated "living alleys." Once an unremarkable side street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, Linden Alley is now a thriving pedestrian-oriented destination featuring seating, landscaping, and celebrated local businesses such as Blue Bottle Coffe, Smitten Ice Cream and Dark Garden.
Inspired by "woonerf" or shared streets in Europe, Place Lab (formerly Build Public) Advisor Loring Sagan in partnership with architect David Winslow spent four years shepherding the greening of Linden Alley through a complex bureaucratic process. Since then, the City of San Francisco has now established both a Living Alleys Toolkit and a Plazas Program to facilitate the conversion of similar underutilized streetscapes into pedestrian amenities. Linden alley is hailed as a successful model for shared public spaces in the Bay Area and beyond. Check out a short video of Linden Alley's 2010 grand opening here.