What is a LIZ?

A LIZ is a temporary installation on Market Street, San Francisco's cultural, civic and economic spine. The program is structured to seed cross-disciplinary collaborations that result in place-based experiences. LIZs can serve as opportunities for testing new ideas, projects, and technologies. LIZs are intended as enhancements to the public realm, encouraging people to connect with each other and their city.

Each LIZ is a collaboration between the City, creative and cultural organizations and the communities in which the LIZ is sited. LIZ is managed by an interagency team: co-led by the Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, the San Francisco Planning Department and the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC). Other agencies within the City are brought in as needed.


LIZs adapt and move quickly.


LIZs find new ways to solve old problems.


LIZs improve underutilized areas.



The city opens its public assets for new, engaging installations in a specified zone.



A partner organization comes aboard to handle design, installation, funding, and maintenance.



The local community participates and helps inform and improve the projects in each LIZ.

The First LIZ

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Pause on Market Street at Yerba Buena Lane

Pause on Market Street is composed of two exhibits designed and fabricated by the Exploratorium that encourage social interaction and play: a pair of giant parabolic "whispering dishes" amplifies and focus a user's conversation, making it audible to a person sitting in an opposite dish placed roughly 60 feet away, and "singing bench" that plays music when users complete a circuit by touching it's armrests.

Over 20,000 pedestrians pass by the installation every day, which means the project is seen over 7 million times per year.

Anecdotally, we've heard that adjacent businesses (like MOMA Store, The Coffee Bean and Bluestem Brasserie) have noted a significant shift in the number of visitors to the area, referring to the LIZ as a new "icon" in the neighborhood.



The Presentation

[Coming soon]


Are you interested in creating, funding or hosting a LIZ on Market Street? Do you want to talk about your article, blog or master’s thesis? Questions and comments are welcome. Give us a shout at LIZ@sfgov.org.