SF Public Press: Can Treasure Island realize its ecotopian dream?


What does the massive redevelopment of Treasure Island give to San Francisco?

First and foremost, it funnels public money into jobs for construction workers and profits for the contractors who will do the building. The project also promises to loosen up a housing market that has stayed tight through the recession, creating 8,000 new residential units, 30 percent of it affordable housing. Bonus: All those new residents (around 20,000) and businesses will add significantly to the city’s tax base.

But the Treasure Island redevelopment, which aims to be the most ecologically sustainable community in the world, delivers something else as well: a positive self-image of San Francisco as a forward-looking, avant-garde, socially and environmentally responsible metropolis. Nothing excites the utopian impulse more than a blank slate — and Treasure Island’s 486 acres have been semi-abandoned since the Navy shut down its base in 1997.