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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.

    In the 10 years that NOW Hunters Point was operational, it hosted over 216 activations (from job training to movie nights to even a circus) and engaged with over 30,000 visitors. Those visitors—from children to elders—shared their aspirations for the site, their neighborhood, and their futures through drawings, discussions, and program attendance. The agility of the interim use program enabled a crucial feedback loop around community needs and desires: as neighbors voted with their feet, some programs were expanded while others were let go. The input received not only shaped interim use, it also has helped shape development projects on and adjacent to the site, including the Hunters Point Shoreline and a large city-owned public park currently being redeveloped adjacent to the site.
    In 2022, this phase of NOW Hunters Point concluded with Intentional Shift, a program funded by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation that brought together local dancers, artists, and community members to have a multi-month conversation about the work to date and the hopes and fears about the future of the site and neighborhood. The program culminated in a final daylong performance that used the Hunters Point Shoreline as a stage and shared a Pamphlet for Action, intended to support community members to remain engaged as the site moves into its next stage of development.