Human Needs

The human needs section calls us to preserve the old and irreplaceable, appealing to human achievement and the human need for rest, quiet, and escape from the confinement of the bustling, dirty city. The report deems resources which provide these qualities worthy of conversation:

  1. sense of nature
  2. continuity with the past
  3. freedom from over-crowding

Fundamental Principles for Conservation

  1. Natural areas and features such as sand dunes, cliffs, hills, and beaches -- particularly where a relatively undisturbed natural ecology exists -- are irreplaceable and of special public value and benefit within an intensely developed city.
  2. New development can enhance and preserve San Francisco's distinctive qualities if it is designed with consideration for the prevailing design character and the effect on surroundings.
  3. External details in building facades, entries, stairways, retaining walls and other features provide visual interest and enrichment and are consistent with the historic scale and texture of San Francisco.
  4. To conserve important design character in history or distinctive older areas, some uniformity of detail, scale, proportion, texture, materials, color, and building form is necessary.
  5. Preservation of San Francisco's strong and continuous downtown street facades will ensure maintenance of that area's distinctive character and spatial quality.
  6. New construction can have a positive effect on the area around it if it reflects the character of adjacent older buildings of architectural merit.
  7. Renovation and restoration of older, well-designed buildings can preserve the character and interest of the streetscape if the original building design is respected in use of materials and details.
  8. Historic buildings represent crucial links with past events and architectural styles and, when preserved, afford educational, recreational, cultural and other benefits.
  9. Historic buildings and grounds often provide necessary visual open space or passive recreation areas. Open space in the city can be supplemented by enhancing the semi-recreational functions of historic areas.
  10. Preservation of some older, low, and small-scaled buildings and grounds amidst larger building towers will help conserve unique cityscape character, maintain a sense of openness and green space, and produce a more livable environment.
  11. Building of parking garages under parks can seriously lessen their natural qualities when the access ramps, air vent and elevator structures and other changes in the park's surface intrude upon the landscape.
  12. Street space provides an important form of public open space, especially in areas of high density that are deficient in other amenities.
  13. Street space provides light, air, space for utilities and access to property.
  14. Street space serves as a means to control and regular the scale and organization of future development by: proptecting against the accumulation of overly large parcels of property under a single ownership on which massive buildings could be constructed; and indirectly controlling the visual scale and density of development, as well as maintaining continuity of facades.
  15. Traditional street patterns and scapes can often be essential to maintaining an appropriate setting for historical and architectural landmarks or areas.
  16. Views from streets can provide a means for orientation and help the observer to perceive the city and its districts more clearly.
  17. Blocking, constriction or other impairment of pleasing street views of the Bay or Ocean, distant hills, or other parks of the city can destroy an important characteristic of the unique setting and quality of the city.

Policies for Conservation

  1. Preserve in their natural state the few remaining areas that have not been developed by man.
  2. Limit improvements in other open spaces having an established sense of nature to those that are necessary, and unlikely to detract from the primary values of the open space.
  3. Avoid encroachments on San Francisco Bay that would be inconsistent with the Bay Plan or the needs of the city's residents.
  4. Preserve notable landmarks and areas of historic, architectural or aesthetic value, and promote the preservation of other buildings and features that provide continuity with past development.
  5. Use care in remodeling of older buildings, in order to enhance rather than weaken the original character of such buildings.
  6. Respect the character of older development nearby in the design of new buildings.
  7. Recognize and protect outstanding and unique areas that contribute in an extraordinary degree to San Francisco's visual form and character.
  8. Maintain a strong presumption against the giving up of street areas for private ownership or use, or for construction of public buildings.
  9. Review proposals for the giving up of street areas in terms of all the public values that streets afford.
  10. Permit release of street areas, where such release is warranted, only in the least extensive and least permanent manner appropriate to each case.