San Francisco is the innovation capital of the world.
The city is home to some of the most dynamic people, institutions and corporations on the planet. Its culture celebrates human capital, new modes of thinking, creative expression and a DIY spirit. Yet, walking around the city’s public spaces, there are few monuments or physical expressions of the economic and technological movements that define San Francisco today.

The Living Innovation Zone Program (LIZ) seeks to create a flexible framework that harnesses the city’s creativity by using City-owned assets, such as public spaces, and partnerships with leading organizations as catalysts for exploration, innovation and play.

LIZ is a partnership between the SF Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, SF Planning, and SF DPW.


LIZs change, adapt, and move quickly.


LIZs find new ways to solve old problems.


LIZs improve defined, underutilized areas.

See the Zones



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.

Coming to an area near you.

The first Living Innovation Zones will be piloted along Market Street. Lessons from this pilot phase will help us develop a formal process to designate LIZs in other areas of the city, and to bring partners on board to work within them.

The map above shows all current existing and proposed LIZs, and information on the projects and partners working on them.

Beginning in the heart of the city.

For the first LIZ, The City has partnered with the Exploratorium and the Yerba Buena CBD to create a dynamic public installation combining science, education, and interpersonal interaction.

The First LIZ

Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco

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San Francisco’s first LIZ is on Market Street at Yerba Buena Lane.

The Exploratorium, San Francisco’s innovative museum of science and more, is taking its unique approach to learning onto the streets—specifically, onto Market Street, San Francisco’s central boulevard. Through the first LIZ, The City is giving The Exploratorium the opportunity to build an interactive educational experience on the city sidewalks that open people’s eyes and illuminate how the world works.

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

This project is part of a larger City initiative called Make Your Market Street which aims to bring people, energy, activity and innovation to the sidewalks of Market Street. The City is also advancing the Better Market Street project to revitalize San Francisco's most important street and transform it into a more beautiful, lively, and efficient public thoroughfare.



The One-Pager

The basics of LIZ on one page.

[Coming soon]


The Presentation

A deeper look into LIZ, with more details and images.

- Uploaded September 12 2013 -


The Guide

A hands-on guide for getting involved with LIZ.

[Coming soon]


Are you interested in participating in 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 at sfgov dot org