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Powell Street becomes a vibrant destination again

Posted on January 23, 2012 9:31 AM

Powell Street

Renaissance?

Not only was the Powell Street Promenade an opportunity to showcase Audi design philosophy, it was an opportunity to make a difference and demonstrate the positive impact that good design can have on a community and city.

The stretch of Powell Street between Geary and Ellis was already a popular destination, rivaling some of the world’s most famous streets, including Times Square, NYC and Oxford Street, London. However, it was severely lacking a vibrant street life. Seating was scarce and sidewalks were overcrowded and congested. Our goal, as well as that of San Francisco City Planning and the Union Square Business Improvement District was to redefine the pedestrian experience and revitalize the street.

Change doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. Although the space has only been in use a few short months and we envision the Powell Street Promenade becoming a downtown fixture in San Francisco for many years to come, the results have already proven positive. According to a study conducted by the Union Square BID, Powell Street is quickly transforming into a true destination and not merely a corridor for shoppers, commuters and tourists to pass through.

Highlights of the research are as follows:

- Pedestrian volume has increased by as much as 18% during peak weekday hours.
- Number of people stopping on Powell is up 30%. Stationary activity (such as talking, window-shopping or eating at a café) has increased. People are no longer just passing through, they're stopping.
- Percentage of people satisfied with Powell Street in terms of "places to stop, relax and socialize" is up 11%.
- Percentage of people satisfied with Powell Street in terms of "physical attractiveness" is up 10%.
- From a business perspective, 24% of businesses have seen more customers arriving by foot; 14% have noticed more coming from Union Square District.

Powell Street

Powell Street

Powell Street

Powell Street

About Audi Progress - Powell StreetAbout Audi Progress - Powell Street

Design. It's in our DNA. It's why we believe that a boldly designed car deserves a boldly designed world. A world that lives up to the same philosophy of uncompromising craftsmanship and innovation that defines our cars. So we launched the Audi Design Project: Progress on Powell Street. An urban design initiative inspired by the all-new Audi A7, with the mission to re-imagine the world beyond our cars. We took two of the most storied and overcrowded blocks in San Francisco, and set out to redefine the experience.