Sarah Berting: The New-Burbia

The New-Burbia | Reimagining the urban living condition in the Civic Center of San Francisco

Bachelor of Architecture Thesis Project

Student: Sarah Berting

Faculty: Philip Ra, AIA & Mini Chu


Gentrification has revitalized devastated neighborhoods and districts in San Francisco but in turn has also caused housing prices to rise, displacing those who are unable to afford living in the city. The result is that people are moving into the suburbs and commuting long hours to their jobs within the city. Those who fall into this category are low income households, specifically blue-collar workers like our city’s first responders and teachers, among others. My attempt to resolve this issue puts workplace housing in a centralized location, such as Civic Center, that targets these workers who are vital to our city. This will allow them to live closer to work so that they may spend more time with their families rather than commuting from outside of the city.

Merging suburban qualities that people prefer with the efficiency of the urban environment will help create a more diverse community that people can easily adapt to as they move closer to work and the culture of the city. Connection to nature, privacy, large open spaces, and the concept of the community-shaping cul-de-sac will be merged with the urban environment, thus reshaping the typical apartment complex within the density of the Bay Area.