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  • NOW Hunters Point

    Interim activations become a conversation between a community and a place.

    The Pacific Gas and Electric Hunters Point site is a multi-faceted property with complex social and historical connections to the surrounding neighborhood. Working within this once forbidding piece of land, NOW Hunters Point takes the practice of urban and applies it as an iterative, visioning process. Using an array of events and activations to gather and test ideas for the site’s future purpose, this project has cultivated a deep and substantive dialogue with the community.
    From the outset, NOW Hunters Point was rooted in the values of collaboration and listening, and an interest in the connections between place, community, and identity. We began two simple yet powerful moves: a listening booth—where the stories of local residents were recorded and shared through a partnership with StoryCorps—and site graphics, painted with the help of local youth, that transformed a piece of asphalt into a venue for a wide range of programs.

    Since 2013, NOW Hunters Point has hosted more than 60 activations from children’s art workshops and job training to movie nights and even a circus. To date we’ve heard from over 15,000 people—from school kids to elders—drawing insights from crayon drawings, discussions, and program attendance about the community’s aspirations for the site, their neighborhood, and their futures.
    The agility of interim use enables a crucial feedback loop with the community. Through ongoing activities and events, we continually test and our interpretation of their desires: as neighbors vote with their feet, we expand some program areas while letting others go. By connecting productive activities in the present to sustainable opportunities for the future, NOW Hunters Point ultimately will shape the site’s ongoing development including projects like the recently completed shoreline improvements.