Walkshop 8

“Popos - Privately owned public open Spaces”

April 14th, 2018
LED BY Walking Public

Terraces, plazas, atriums, small parks and snippets: San Francisco’s “Privately Owned Public Open Spaces” (aka POPOS) appear in many forms. All 68 POPOS have been created by mandate of the city’s Downtown Plan of 1985, which states that private developers must create 1 ft of public space for each 50 ft of private. In this 2-hour Walkshop we explored a handful of POPOS in the downtown area, and did some readings to contextualize each space we visited. We payed close attention to the collective experience of these spaces, where the boundary between private and public is hazy.

This walk was led by Walking Public, founded by artists Tara Shi and Benjamin Lotan. Tara co-founded (disk cactus) an art and technology studio based out of West Oakland. She is currently pursuing a masters in architecture at UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Design. Ben is the founder of Social Print Studio, a photo printing and technology company based in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. Together, Ben and Tara collaborate on This Will Take Time, a non-profit organization dedicated to long-term projects and based in the small coastal town of Point Arena.


  • Location: One Bush Street, San Francisco, CA

  • Start Time: 2pm

  • Duration: approx. 3 hours

  • Equipment: Journal, notebook, camera or related recording devices

Photography by Michal Wisniowski