Project Parklet: Reclaiming the Streets

Let’s take back public space! Imagine what’s possible in a parking space and celebrate our forthcoming parklet.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


September 13, 2014 from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm




Invented in San Francisco, parklets are becoming an essential part of our city by extending the sidewalk into the street and providing additional public space. swissnex San Francisco joins the movement with a forthcoming parklet in a former parking spot at 730 Montgomery Street.

The swissnex parklet will become a living lab for what’s possible on a tiny outdoor footprint: a modular stage for discussion, performances, screenings, workshops, relaxation, and more.

Join us to discuss this project with our parklet collaborators Gehl Architects and ETH’s Urban Think Tank Chair, Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner, innovators in tactical urbanism and city transformations, as well as with researchers, designers, and city planners exploring new approaches in the public realm. Plus, live music from San Francisco-based Balkan brass band, Inspector Gadje!


06:30 pm  doors open*
07:00 pm  talks about the Parklet
08:00 pm  performance by Alfredo Brillembourg
08:30 pm  music from Inspector Gadje
11:00 pm  event ends

*note: part of the event takes place outside


John Bela

John Bela, of Gehl Architects, is an urbanist and public space designer. He combines a background in art, science, and environmental design to create vibrant, dynamic, resilient urban human habitats. A pioneer in user-generated urbanism, he has successfully completed many projects that involve radical new formulations of social space. Bela is a Senior Lecturer at the California College of Arts in San Francisco and a Distinguished Lecturer at UC Berkeley. He holds degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, Biochemistry, and Sculpture.

Alfredo Brillembourg

Alfredo Brillembourg was born in New York in 1961. He received his Bachelor of Art and Architecture in 1984 and his Master of Science in Architectural Design in 1986 from Columbia University. In 1992, he received a second architecture degree from the Central University of Venezuela and began his independent practice in architecture. In 1993 he founded Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) in Caracas, Venezuela. Starting in 2007, Brillembourg has been a guest professor at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, where he co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab) with Hubert Klumpner. He has over 20 years of experience practicing architecture and urban design. Since May 2010, Brillembourg has held the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETH) Zürich in Switzerland.

Kristina Hill

Kristina Hill is an Associate Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and is currently focused on developing proposals for urban adaptation to climate change in the San Francisco Bay area, by learning from international examples. She co-edited and authored the book Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning (Island Press, 2002), and has published numerous book chapters and articles in scientific and professional journals. Hill has been recognized as a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Design, and as a Fulbright Scholar. Her research and consulting work has been funded by the US National Science Foundation and clients in the US and abroad. Her most recent professional project was the Water Management Strategy for Greater New Orleans, where she advised a team of designers and engineers on water-based site and system design. She received a Master of Landscape Architecture with distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and a Doctor of Philosophy in landscape architecture, with a minor in ecology, from Harvard University.

Katerina Kourkoula

Katerina Kourkoula received her Bachelors of Science from the Bartlett School of Architecture (U.C.L.) in 2003, her Bachelors of Architecture from The Cooper Union in 2008, and her Masters in Architecture from The Cooper Union in 2011. She is a Professor for Architecture at ETH Zurich in the Urban-Think Tank department.



Robin Abad Ocubillo

Robin Abad Ocubillo is a landscape and urban designer with the City of San Francisco.  Prior to assuming management of the Parklet and Public Life Programs at the San Francisco Planning Department, he helped initiate parklets in Los Angeles.  His current and past work also involves performance evaluation of public spaces and temporary urban design.

Tina Chang

Tina Chang, AICP, LEED AP, is an urban designer/ planner at the San Francisco Planning Department where she splits her time between the project management of development reviews in the Current Planning Division and working with the City Design Group on projects focused around temporary urbanism. She is currently leading the community engagement and evaluation components of the Market Street Prototyping Festival.  Tina draws upon her urban design and master planning experience in the public and private sectors from projects throughout California, Washington, D.C., Asia and the Middle East.  She holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from the University of California Los Angeles.

More Info

This is the final event of the one-week urban design seminar, Public Spectacle, organized by Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner, Urban-Think Tank Chair, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and its research team: Katerina Kourkoula, Daniel Wills, and Hannes Gutberlet in collaboration with UC Berkeley Landscape and Environmental Planning and swissnex San Francisco.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos