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Nicholas de Monchaux

Local Code : Real Estates / San Francisco 2009 ̶ 2012

Dual Channel Video, 00:04:33 and 03:22:00


Architect Nicholas de Monchaux developed the Local Code software in 2009. The software employs Geographic Information Systems (GIS), in combination with real-time data on local conditions, to map urban public land remnants and propose site-specific designs for their remediation. Using San Francisco as a case study de Monchaux identified and proposed designs for over 1,500 “unaccepted streets.” These municipally-owned street-like spaces are not regularly maintained by the city and cannot be sold for private use: their their total aggregate area would cover over half of Golden Gate Park. Data culled on environmental, social and health conditions in the neighborhoods surrounding the small plots suggest that unaccepted streets correspond to areas most burdened by poor living conditions, low energy-efficiency and failed infrastructure. In response to these findings, DE MONCHAUX proposes hyperlocal renovations that react to the specific conditions of the surrounding area. Together, the lots have the potential to create a network of revitalized spaces that would positively impact individual and municipal health, and avoid the need for proposed underground infrastructural proposals, all at less expense than traditional, centralized urban infrastructure.

Project team: Robert Cook, Natalia Echeverri, Benjamin Golder, Sha Hwang, Sara Jensen, David Lung, Shivang Patwa, Carlos Sandoval, Matthew Smith, Laurie Spitler and Clark Titcomb

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