Transforming a Parking Lot Into a Pop-Up Cargo Container Village

One corner of an enormous parking lot in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood has been temporarily transformed into a lively pop-up “village”, featuring food trucks, seating, planters, retail, and a beer garden all based on repurposed shipping containers. The colorful concept, dubbed “The Yard”, features Gehl Architects’ methodology of activating public spaces and focusing on human interaction. 


Photo by Emily Peckenham

The Mission Bay neighborhood has gone through numerous changes in its lifetime, beginning with its origins as, well, an actual bay. The bay was slowly filled in over the past two hundred years of San Francisco’s urbanization, seeing use as a shipyard, industrial zone, dump, paved over empty space, and soon, will feature condos (are you surprised?).  

The part of the project that may be a bit unusual is one of its aims – to “create community” and a sense of place –in advance of condos and mixed use development breaking ground. It will be interesting to see how and if this concept succeeds. 

For now, you can enjoy a beer at Anchor Brewing’s pop up outdoor beer garden (watch out on game days – its sure to be packed to capacity), and The Yard project hopes to activate the space with free public performances and happenings of various kinds over the coming months. 

Read my whole article and check out a photoset from my visit to The Yard last week (and don’t forget to try the food – the greasy, delicious Filipino BBQ pork from Señor Sisig filled me up for the entire day!) 

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