Open Space

Traditional open space is a scarce resource in Chinatown. In 1991 Reverend Norman Fong envisioned utilizing Chinatown’s forty-one alleyways as a source of open space for the community. He founded the Adopt-An-Alleyway Youth Empowerment Project, which has evolved into a grassroots empowerment youth program to clean and green alleyways. In addition, the San Francisco Planning Department adopted Chinatown CDC’s Chinatown Alleyway Master Plan in 1998 as a guide for the renovation of the core alleyways in Chinatown.

To date, eleven alleyways have been renovated under the Chinatown Alleyways Master Plan: Hang Ah, Cordelia, Ross, Spofford, Commercial, John, Waverly, Jack Kerouac, Wentworth, Beckett, and Cooper alleys. We have installed new paving, pedestrian scale lighting, bronze decorations on the sidewalks, sewer and drainage replacements, bollards, and enlarged pedestrian right-of-way in many of these alleys.

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