Mayor Breed and City Leaders Celebrate the Reopening of UN Plaza

The newly enhanced UN Plaza will feature a first-of-its-kind skate park, fitness programming, street skating, games and more in Civic Center area
November 08, 2023

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, and community members today unveiled a transformed UN Plaza, which will now serve as a dynamic hub for recreation and scheduled activities in the Civic Center neighborhood.  The revitalized space includes the nation’s first street skating plaza of its kind, a fitness court studio, activities, and games.  

The all-day celebration included skateboard demonstrations, teqball lessons, chess lessons, ping pong, foosball, nature play activities, a climbing wall and activities hosted by the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), and the Randall Museum. The United Nations Plaza, or UN Plaza, along with neighboring Fulton and Civic Center Plazas, will host programming seven days a week, including dance, yoga, and roller-skating classes for all ages. Additionally, the space will continue to be home to the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market and Fulton Plaza Gift Gallery. A fall and winter schedule can be found here.

“UN Plaza is at the heart of our Civic Center, where community comes to gather, people come to work, and visitors come to visit our civic institutions, and I’m thrilled to see how we are bringing new life to this public space,” said Mayor Breed. “We will continue to work together to offer world-class parks and inviting recreation spaces that can support and uplift our communities while attracting visitors to our neighborhoods.”

The $2 million renovation by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is part of a larger effort by city, state and federal partners, the Civic Center Benefit District, nonprofit organizations, law enforcement, and neighboring cultural institutions to transform the Civic Center area into a clean, safe, and vibrant public space for everyone. Its revitalization as a destination for City residents aligns with goals laid out in the Mayor’s Roadmap to San Francisco’s Future.  

Similar activations in Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Philadelphia lent inspiration to design the project, which broke ground September 6. The 13,000-square-foot skating plaza, designed by local professional skateboarders and skate park advocates, is filled with elements from iconic skate spots around the City, most of which no longer exist. Its centerpiece, a skateable pyramid, is nod to Place de la République in Paris, a large multi-use pedestrian plaza that incorporates street skating. While several cities in Europe have designed public spaces for pedestrians and skateboarders, San Francisco is now the only U.S. city to adopt a design at this scale that thoughtfully integrates both groups.  

In addition to the skating area and tables for ping-pong, teqball, chess, foosball and cornhole, UN Plaza now includes an outdoor fitness studio with strength-building stations and an outdoor class space for tai chi, yoga, HIIT, Zumba, and other group exercise for all fitness levels. Additional elements include new plants, trees, café seating, and Tivoli lights.

“Great cities have great public spaces. The new programming and features at UN Plaza offer something for everyone and that’s by design. Vibrant spaces are made up of all different kinds of people pursuing all kinds of healthy fun,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.  

“Unprecedented public/private collaboration has brought forth this incredible transformation,” said Civic Center Community Benefit District Executive Director Tracy Everwine. “The Civic Center CBD was a proud partner and we’re very excited about all the activities and programs now available for residents, area employees and the thousands of tourists who arrive year-round, seven days a week.”