The Secrets of San Francisco – POPOs

One of the best kept secrets of San Francisco is the POPO (not popover, but privately owned public open space).  In the 1985 San Francisco downtown planning ordinance, ““to meet the needs of downtown workers, residents and visitors” requires 1 square foot of public space per 50 square feet of office space or hotels”, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  Many of these spaces are on the rooftops of commercial buildings with great views of the City, or in open areas where you can enjoy your lunch in front of redwood trees or beautiful flowers.  The owners of these private spaces have tried to hide these public areas for obvious reasons, but a recent update of the ordinance required these places to be noticeable to public with proper signage.  You can take a tour of the San Francisco 15+ downtown POPOs here.

Update: 7×7 has just done an update of the secret hideouts and gardens in the financial district of San Francisco here. Lovely!

Rooftop at Westfield Mall at Union Square
Rooftop at Westfield Mall at Union Square
Redwood Park at 535 Washington Street
Redwood Park at 535 Washington Street (my personal favourite!)
555 California Street (Most prime office building in San Francisco)
555 California Street (Most prime office building in San Francisco)
City view from 343 Sansome Street rooftop
City view from 343 Sansome Street rooftop
101 California Street Open Space
101 California Street Open Space
City View from 1 Kearny Street
City View from 1 Kearny Street

(photos courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle, sfpopos.com and sfist.com)

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4 thoughts on “The Secrets of San Francisco – POPOs

  1. What are great places in San Francisco. I really like the one I saw.
    Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a wonderful day.
    Big hugs, much love, Stefania! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Stefania for liking the post. I love these hidden places in the business district of San Francisco. Our city rules give the public more choices to rest and relax, away from the tourists’ crowd.

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