SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — City leaders are hoping that a brand new skateboarding park constructed in the middle of United Nations Plaza will transform the space into a positive place for recreation.
Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department unveiled and opened the skate park on Wednesday. “UN Plaza is at the heart of our Civic Center. I’m thrilled to see how we are bringing new life to this public space,” Breed said.
The 13,000-square-foot skating plaza, designed by local professional skateboarders and skate park advocates, is filled with elements from old iconic skate spots around the city, most of which no longer exist.
City leaders proclaimed the plaza will be a “dynamic hub for recreation and community activities in the Civic Center neighborhood. The revitalized plaza now has the nation’s first street skating plaza of its kind, a fitness court studio, activities, and games.”
The city poured $2 million into renovating the plaza into a safe and vibrant public space.
United Nations Plaza looked like a “drug bazaar” at night in downtown San Francisco for the majority of 2023, community activists said.
San Francisco police cracked down on open-air drug use and drug trafficking for the past several months and made hundreds of arrests.
Breed said Wednesday, “This is how UN Plaza should be used for the community for the people who enjoy rec and parks systems.” UN Plaza, Fulton Plaza, and Civic Center Plaza, will host activities seven days a week, including Zumba, dance, yoga, and roller-skating classes.
City leaders hosted a celebration including skateboarding demonstrations, chess lessons, ping pong games, a climbing wall, and other activities hosted by the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Public Library, and Randall Museum.
Phil Ginsburg of the city’s parks department said, “Today we believe, we believe in the power of parks to transform spaces.”
Ginsburg said, “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.”
U.N. Plaza’s makeover is part of Breed’s plan for transforming downtown through several revitalization projects.