The Port Seeks Partners to Activate and Program Waterfront Parks and Open Spaces

The Port of San Francisco issued a request for qualifications today to activate waterfront parks and open spaces with exciting, temporary events and activities. The request for qualifications will establish a pool of diverse and experienced partners for the Port to work with to safely develop, promote and launch events and activities along the waterfront.  Parks and open space are vital public resources that enrich the lives of our residents and offer important venues to heal, contemplate and gather safely as we emerge from the pandemic.    

“The Pop-Up Parks Activation Initiative will bring more people to the waterfront and create opportunities for local artists and small businesses,” said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco.  “Through this new initiative, we expect to enliven our parks and open spaces and create fresh experiences tailor made for fun, healing and growth in the wake of the pandemic.”    

The Port envisions interim activities and events that will draw visitors to the waterfront, increasing foot traffic and complement neighboring businesses.  The Port seeks a variety of activities that are open to the public.  Selected activities will enhance the experience along the waterfront and aim to equitably engage broad and diverse users.  

Prior to the pandemic, more than 24 million people visited the waterfront annually. As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, many of the small and family owned businesses were shuttered. The Port dedicated $15 million in support for family and small businesses along the waterfront, through rent forgiveness, micro loans to small local businesses, and rent repayment programs. This initiative will add to the  re-opening of the more than 500 businesses located along the waterfront by drawing more people out to explore and reconnect.    

“Activations at waterfront parks will be welcoming, accessible and inviting to all San Franciscans,” said Kimberley Brandon, President of the San Francisco Port Commission.  “This initiative will create space to celebrate the great diversity of our city along the water’s edge, creating new powerful platforms for people of color, artists and others who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic to showcase their unique talents.”  

The Port is committed to advancing racial equity. Central to the Port’s work is ensuring that Port opportunities are shared with people of color and that the San Francisco waterfront intentionally welcomes and includes diverse communities of color.  Beyond providing equitable access to parks and open spaces, the Port also seeks to offer culturally and diverse programming throughout the waterfront.

Temporary, activities and events may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultural events
  • Athletic Showcases
  • Art Installations, Exhibitions, and Performances
  • Food and Beverage Concessions
  • Retail Markets
  • Movies in the park and drive-in theatres

Activities are expected to vary in size and scope with a maximum term of one year.  The Port’s goal is to have a wide range of opportunities across all sites that offer the public a diverse array of exciting options. The request for qualifications specifically solicits proposed activations for small, medium, and large events and activities.  

The Port is looking for partners to program a wide range of parks and open spaces across the  7.5 mile waterfront, with locations in both the southern and northern waterfront.  Priority sites include: 

  • Heron’s Head Park
  • Crane Cove Park
  • Pier 30-32
  • Cruise Terminal Plaza
  • Pier 29 Open Space

Proposal submissions are due June 17, 2021 at 2:00pm.  The Port anticipates executing licenses and permits this summer, with the first activities expected in August.  The request for qualifications is available for download on the Port’s website at