Catalyst for Innovation
As the champion of a major San Francisco tourist destination, the Union Square Business Improvement District (USBID) manages the area’s public spaces, attracts new investment and advocates for the District’s future success.
Union Square is a 24/7 dynamo, the backbone of San Francisco’s retail and tourism economy, with the region’s largest collection of hotels, luxury retailers and iconic department stores; over 1,200 storefront and upper floor businesses; tens of thousands of employees; and about 25 million visitors a year. As the first BID in San Francisco, the 27-square block USBID is also a model for other districts.
In anticipation of its renewal and based on emerging global trends in retail, hospitality and the public realm experience, it needed an innovative and compelling Strategic Plan. Stakeholder interviews, workshops and an online survey resulted in a new mission statement and a Plan that moved the District to overwhelming approval for re-authorization.
Since implementing its Plan, USBID has been a catalyst for innovation with major accomplishments such as launching the Union Square Foundation (a nonprofit organization that provides homeless workforce development opportunities and social programs, as well as enhancing the public realm), new solar-powered “smart” waste units, sophisticated pedestrian counters that help measure overall economic performance and pedestrian activity, and state-of-the-art security cameras that ensure safety and peace of mind.
USBID continues to be an engine for shared prosperity by expanding the critical services its members value and by making the most of new opportunities as they arise.