Need Help?

Skip to Content

CCA Portal

Apocalypse Now: Re-wiring the Post-retail City

Add to calendar icon + Add to calendar
feb 20

Thu, Feb 20 2020, 2:30PM - 5:30PM

SPUR, 654 Mission St, San Francisco, California, 94105 View map

Part of event series: Architecture Lecture Series Spring 2020


Organized by

Architecture Division and SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association

Event description

Organized by CCA Architecture Faculty Chris Roach, Re-wiring the Post-retail city is a forum and workshop hosted by SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association. 

This forum convenes a cross-section of urban actors and thinkers to interrogate the future of ground floor commercial space after the so-called “Retail Apocalypse.” Co-hosted with SPUR and CCA in conjunction with an advanced research studio titled Apocalypse Now: Project for the Post-Retail City, which opportunistically utilizes retail’s collapse to critique long-held assumptions and to speculate on alternative futures for the “post-retail street” and catalyze a radical rethinking of what the ground floor of the city could be. 

What the city needs today is to encourage a high-energy experimentation with alternative proposals for addressing retail and ground floor commercial space in the city, and yet our definition of “active ground floor uses” is too proscriptive, and punitive measures currently proposed only further discourage divergence from standard models. This workshop will examine the possible establishment of a series of Commercial Innovation Districts (CID’s) where developers, property owners, or community groups / CBDs / BIDs would be empowered to experiment with alternative arrangements of retail, commercial, and public space within a proscribed area and for a set period of time, with the intent of producing innovative models that could be codified into city policy. 

After an initial round of brief introductions, participants will be introduced to a series of case studies showcasing international examples of rich commercial environments, and then break into working groups that will focus on developing CIDs for a series of sites in San Francisco. Discussion and development of these experimental models will be structured through a series of lenses: Ownership/Captial, Governance/Programming, Media/Technology, Access/Infrastructure, and Form/Surface. Breakout groups will share their speculations with the group in a final conclusion to the workshop, which will be documented and disseminated to the participants.

The event will be held off-site at SPUR's facilities:

654 Mission St
San Francisco, CA

Entry details

Free and open to the public.

This event is being held in a wheelchair accessible building. Visitors may be asked to show identification and sign in at the entrance to the building. The lecture room is wheelchair accessible, with moveable seating, and located near gender-specific wheelchair accessible bathrooms. ASL interpretation will not be offered at the event. Please email access questions to