67. Local Code: Real Estates
San Francisco and elsewhere / Nicholas de Monchaux
When artist Gordon Matta-Clark created Fake Estates in New York in the early 1970s, he spent three years combing through public records to identify 15 fallow, forgotten city-owned lots. Using GIS mapping, architect Nicholas de Monchaux identified over 1,500 vacant public lots in San Francisco in a matter of months. In the U.C. Berkeley professor’s eyes, when considered together, these residual, unmaintained spaces are a vast untapped resource. Using parametric design to optimize thermal and hydrological performance, he proposes a landscape design for each parcel, resulting in a network of urban greenways that will enhance the city’s ecology and benefit citizens’ health. He has extended the research to other cities, creating a database of neglected sites that could be recuperated to create robust infrastructures that could mend ecological and social circumstances.


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