San Francisco has kicked into high gear following the announcement that the 34th America’s Cup will officially take place in the city in 2013. Due to its gorgeous natural location and commitment to sustainability, it is only natural that San Francisco's organizing committee hopes to make the event as sustainable and green as possible. Plans have recently been released for a new cruise terminal on the waterfront Embarcadero as well as a variety of infrastructure updates along the viewing area - read on for a first look!
Under design giant AECOM’s leadership, a wide swath of temporary and permanent installations will be built along San Francisco’s waterfront to accommodate race infrastructure as well as a massive influx of tourists, media, crew members, and local spectators.
Pier 27 will host the “James R. Herman” cruise terminal designed by KMD Architects in partnership with Pfau Long Architecture. The new cruise terminal is already approved and projected to be under construction by 2012, and it will feature glass-sided walls and a rippling roof – two striking modern elements. Designed to handle the needs of oceangoing cruise liners, the terminal will include plenty of areas for passengers and baggage handling, as well as a strong cantilevered roof. In a nod to green building principles, the roof will also feature a rainwater harvesting system which could be used to irrigate surrounding parks and plantings. Viewing areas, staging areas, plazas, terminals, sheds, event spaces, food halls and more will make up the proposed cruise terminal and “America’s Cup Village” that will encompass Piers 27-29.
The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development has also recently released their draft “People Plan”, which discusses infrastructure, planning, and pedestrian improvements to handle the massive influx of foot traffic to the Embarcadero area. With a focus on being as sustainable as possible, the plan addresses the need for increased bus and trolley service, as well as improving existing infrastructure to make the area safe and accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. Ideas includes lots of secured bike parking as well as car-free pedestrian-only zones.
The Port of San Francisco has long sought to upgrade facilities along the San Francisco waterfront – winning the honor of hosting the America’s Cup is just the jolt that was needed to bring together city, local, and private entities to make it happen. The necessary draft environmental impact review for the America’s Cup plan has already been filed with the San Francisco Department of Planning, which bodes well for fast-tracking the necessary improvements in time for the races.
San Francisco hopes to create hundreds of jobs leading up to and through the race event, and the city will seek to create a long-lasting benefit for the maritime industry and city residents through the waterfront improvements. With top sailors, yacht designers, and patrons arriving in San Francisco soon, all eyes will soon be on the new and improved waterfront. Planning and construction must begin as soon as possible – the America’s Cup World Series 45-foot catamarans will begin racing this coming summer in the lead-up to the main event.