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The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city's infrastructure development. The city constructed an auxiliary water supply system and has repeatedly upgraded its building codes, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction. San Francisco's shoreline has grown beyond its natural limits. Entire neighborhoods such as the Marina , Mission Bay , and Hunters Point , as well as large sections of the Embarcadero , sit on areas of landfill.
Treasure Island was constructed from material dredged from the bay as well as material resulting from the excavation of the Yerba Buena Tunnel through Yerba Buena Island during the construction of the Bay Bridge. Such land tends to be unstable during earthquakes. The resulting soil liquefaction causes extensive damage to property built upon it, as was evidenced in the Marina district during the Loma Prieta earthquake.
The historic center of San Francisco is the northeast quadrant of the city anchored by Market Street and the waterfront.
It is here that the Financial District is centered, with Union Square , the principal shopping and hotel district, and the Tenderloin nearby. Cable cars carry riders up steep inclines to the summit of Nob Hill , once the home of the city's business tycoons, and down to the waterfront tourist attractions of Fisherman's Wharf , and Pier 39 , where many restaurants feature Dungeness crab from a still-active fishing industry. New skyscrapers, live-work lofts, and condominiums dot the area. Further development is taking place just to the south in Mission Bay area, a former railroad yard, which now has a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco , and where the new Warriors arena will be built.
The Western Addition is usually divided into smaller neighborhoods including Hayes Valley , the Fillmore , and Japantown , which was once the largest Japantown in North America but suffered when its Japanese American residents were forcibly removed and interned during World War II. The Western Addition survived the earthquake with its Victorians largely intact, including the famous " Painted Ladies ", standing alongside Alamo Square.
To the south, near the geographic center of the city is Haight-Ashbury , famously associated with s hippie culture. The Haight is now home to some expensive boutiques  and a few controversial chain stores,  although it still retains some bohemian character. North of the Western Addition is Pacific Heights , an affluent neighborhood that features the homes built by wealthy San Franciscans in the wake of the earthquake. Directly north of Pacific Heights facing the waterfront is the Marina , a neighborhood popular with young professionals that was largely built on reclaimed land from the Bay.
In the south-east quadrant of the city is the Mission District —populated in the 19th century by Californios and working-class immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Scandinavia. In the s, a wave of Central American immigrants settled in the Mission and, in the s, immigrants from Mexico began to predominate. Noe Valley to the southwest and Bernal Heights to the south are both increasingly popular among young families with children. East of the Mission is the Potrero Hill neighborhood, a mostly residential neighborhood that features sweeping views of downtown San Francisco.
West of the Mission, the area historically known as Eureka Valley , now popularly called the Castro , was once a working-class Scandinavian and Irish area. It has become North America's first and best known gay village , and is now the center of gay life in the city. The predominantly African American Bayview-Hunters Point in the far southeast corner of the city is one of the poorest neighborhoods and suffers from a high rate of crime, though the area has been the focus of several revitalizing and controversial urban renewal projects.
The construction of the Twin Peaks Tunnel in connected southwest neighborhoods to downtown via streetcar, hastening the development of West Portal , and nearby affluent Forest Hill and St. Further west, stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean and north to Golden Gate Park lies the vast Sunset District , a large middle class area with a predominantly Asian population. Together, these areas are known as The Avenues.
These two districts are each sometimes further divided into two regions: Many piers remained derelict for years until the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway reopened the downtown waterfront, allowing for redevelopment. The centerpiece of the port, the Ferry Building , while still receiving commuter ferry traffic, has been restored and redeveloped as a gourmet marketplace. This moderates temperature swings and produces a remarkably mild year-round climate with little seasonal temperature variation.
As a result, the year's warmest month, on average, is September, and on average, October is warmer than July, especially in daytime. Because of its sharp topography and maritime influences, San Francisco exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. They also protect neighborhoods directly to their east from the foggy and sometimes very cold and windy conditions experienced in the Sunset District ; for those who live on the eastern side of the city, San Francisco is sunnier, with an average of clear days, and only cloudy days per year.
San Francisco has a minority-majority population, as non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population, Research collected on the immigrant clusters in the city show that more than half of the Asian population in San Francisco is either Chinese born Of all major cities in the United States, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, behind only Seattle. San Francisco has the highest percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U. There are , households in the city, out of which: The average household size was 2.
The median age of the city population is 38 years. Homelessness, historically, has been a major problem in the city and remains a growing problem in modern times. In , 7, homeless people were officially counted in the city, two thirds of whom were dealing with serious health issues like mental illness or HIV. In January a United Nations special rapporteur on homelessness, Leilani Farha , stated that she was "completely shocked" by San Francisco's homelessness crisis during a visit to the city.
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She compared the "deplorable conditions" of the homeless camps she witnessed on San Francisco's streets to those she had seen in Mumbai. According to academic Rob Wilson, San Francisco is a global city , a status that pre-dated the city's popularity during the California Gold Rush. A divide is created within the city of ethnic, typically lower-class neighborhoods, and expensive ones with newly developed buildings.
This in turn creates a population of highly educated, white-collar individuals as well as blue-collar workers, many of whom are immigrants, and who both are drawn to the increasing number of opportunities available. San Francisco has a diversified service economy , with employment spread across a wide range of professional services, including financial services , tourism , and increasingly high technology.
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The legacy of the California Gold Rush turned San Francisco into the principal banking and finance center of the West Coast in the early twentieth century. Many large financial institutions, multinational banks, and venture capital firms are based in or have regional headquarters in the city.
With over 30 international financial institutions,  six Fortune companies,  and a large support infrastructure of professional services—including law, public relations, architecture and design—San Francisco is designated as an Alpha - World City. Since the s, San Francisco's economy has diversified away from finance and tourism towards the growing fields of high tech, biotechnology , and medical research.
The top employer in the city is the city government itself, employing 5. In an effort to buoy small privately owned businesses in San Francisco and preserve the unique retail personality of the city, the Small Business Commission started a publicity campaign in to keep a larger share of retail dollars in the local economy,  and the Board of Supervisors has used the planning code to limit the neighborhoods where formula retail establishments can set up shop,  an effort affirmed by San Francisco voters.
The city's largest manufacturing employer is Anchor Brewing Company , and the largest by revenue is Timbuk2. San Francisco became a hub for technological driven economic growth during the internet boom of the s, and still holds an important position in the world city network today.
Between the years of and , the job growth rate was 4. In the second technological boom driven by social media in the mid s, San Francisco became a popular location for companies such as Apple , Google , Facebook and Twitter to base their tech offices and for their employees to live. The tech sector's dominance in the Bay Area is internationally recognized and continues to attract new businesses and young entrepreneurs from all over the globe.
Tourism is one of the city's largest private-sector industries, accounting for more than one out of seven jobs in the city. In , it attracted the fifth-highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the United States,  and is one of the top destination cities worldwide by international visitor spending.
Both of these locations were often used as landscape shots for the hit American sitcom Full House. There is also Lombard Street , known for its "crookedness" and beautiful views. Tourists also flood to Pier 39 , which offers dining, shopping, entertainment, and beautiful views of the bay, sun-bathing seals, and the famous Alcatraz Island.
San Francisco also offers tourists cultural and unique nightlife in its neighborhoods. A heightened interest in conventioneering in San Francisco, marked by the establishment of convention centers such as Yerba Buena, acted as a feeder into the local tourist economy and resulted in an increase in the hotel industry: Although the Financial District , Union Square , and Fisherman's Wharf are well-known around the world, San Francisco is also characterized by its numerous culturally rich streetscapes featuring mixed-use neighborhoods anchored around central commercial corridors to which residents and visitors alike can walk.
Because of these characteristics, San Francisco is ranked the second "most walkable" city in the United States by Walkscore. This approach especially has influenced the continuing South of Market neighborhood redevelopment with businesses and neighborhood services rising alongside high-rise residences. Since the s, the demand for skilled information technology workers from local startups and nearby Silicon Valley has attracted white-collar workers from all over the world and created a high standard of living in San Francisco.
The city's property values and household income have risen to among the highest in the nation,    creating a large and upscale restaurant, retail, and entertainment scene. According to a quality of life survey of global cities, San Francisco has the highest quality of living of any U. The international character that San Francisco has enjoyed since its founding is continued today by large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Latin America.
In particular, the arrival of many ethnic Chinese, which accelerated beginning in the s, has complemented the long-established community historically based in Chinatown throughout the city and has transformed the annual Chinese New Year Parade into the largest event of its kind outside China.
With the arrival of the "beat" writers and artists of the s and societal changes culminating in the Summer of Love in the Haight-Ashbury district during the s, San Francisco became a center of liberal activism and of the counterculture that arose at that time. The Democrats and to a lesser extent the Green Party have dominated city politics since the late s, after the last serious Republican challenger for city office lost the mayoral election by a narrow margin.
San Francisco also has had a very active environmental community. Starting with the founding of the Sierra Club in to the establishment of the non-profit Friends of the Urban Forest in , San Francisco has been at the forefront of many global discussions regarding the environment. The Sunset Reservoir Solar Project, completed in , installed 24, solar panels on the roof of the reservoir.
The 5-megawatt plant more than tripled the city's 2-megawatt solar generation capacity when it opened in December Morgan ; and the first transgender police commissioner, Theresa Sparks. The city's large gay population has created and sustained a politically and culturally active community over many decades, developing a powerful presence in San Francisco's civic life.
Survey data released in by Gallup place the proportion of the San Francisco metro area at 6. One of the most popular destinations for gay tourists internationally, the city hosts San Francisco Pride , one of the largest and oldest pride parades. San Francisco Pride events have been held continuously since The events are themed and a new theme is created each year. In , over 1.
San Francisco's War Memorial and Performing Arts Center hosts some of the most enduring performing-arts companies in the country. The Fillmore is a music venue located in the Western Addition. It is the second incarnation of the historic venue that gained fame in the s, housing the stage where now-famous musicians such as the Grateful Dead , Janis Joplin , Led Zeppelin and Jefferson Airplane first performed, fostering the San Francisco Sound.
San Francisco has a large number of theaters and live performance venues. Local theater companies have been noted for risk taking and innovation. It moved to its current building in the South of Market neighborhood in and attracted more than , visitors annually. The Palace of the Legion of Honor holds primarily European antiquities and works of art at its Lincoln Park building modeled after its Parisian namesake.
Opposite the de Young stands the California Academy of Sciences , a natural history museum that also hosts the Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium. Located on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, the Exploratorium is an interactive science museum. The Contemporary Jewish Museum is a non-collecting institution that hosts a broad array of temporary exhibitions. On Nob Hill, the Cable Car Museum is a working museum featuring the cable car power house, which drives the cables. In , San Francisco was ranked No.
The San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League NFL were the longest-tenured major professional sports franchise in the city until moving in The San Francisco Warriors played in the NBA from —, before being renamed the Golden State Warriors prior to the — season in an attempt to present the team as a representation of the whole state of California.
The Bay to Breakers footrace, held annually since , is best known for colorful costumes and a celebratory community spirit. Its private golf course has hosted the U. Open on five occasions. San Francisco hosted the America's Cup yacht racing competition. With an ideal climate for outdoor activities, San Francisco has ample resources and opportunities for amateur and participatory sports and recreation. Boating, sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are among the popular activities on San Francisco Bay, and the city maintains a yacht harbor in the Marina District.
Among the GGNRA's attractions within the city are Ocean Beach , which runs along the Pacific Ocean shoreline and is frequented by a vibrant surfing community, and Baker Beach , which is located in a cove west of the Golden Gate and part of the Presidio , a former military base. Also within the Presidio is Crissy Field , a former airfield that was restored to its natural salt marsh ecosystem. Once covered in native grasses and sand dunes, the park was conceived in the s and was created by the extensive planting of thousands of non-native trees and plants.
Lake Merced is a fresh-water lake surrounded by parkland and near the San Francisco Zoo , a city-owned park that houses more than animal species, many of which are endangered. San Francisco is the first city in the U. San Francisco—officially known as the City and County of San Francisco—is a consolidated city-county , a status it has held since the secession of what is now San Mateo County.
The government of San Francisco is a charter city and is constituted of two co-equal branches. The executive branch is headed by the mayor and includes other citywide elected and appointed officials as well as the civil service. The member Board of Supervisors, the legislative branch, is headed by a president and is responsible for passing laws and budgets, though San Franciscans also make use of direct ballot initiatives to pass legislation. The members of the Board of Supervisors are elected as representatives of specific districts within the city.
In , Dianne Feinstein assumed the office following the assassination of George Moscone and was later selected by the board to finish the term. In , Edwin M. Lee was selected by the board to finish the term of Gavin Newsom , who resigned to take office as Lieutenant Governor of California. Because of its unique city-county status, local government exercises jurisdiction over property that would otherwise be located outside of its corporation limit.
San Francisco also has a county jail complex located in San Mateo County, in an unincorporated area adjacent to San Bruno. San Francisco serves as the regional hub for many arms of the federal bureaucracy, including the U. Until decommissioning in the early s, the city had major military installations at the Presidio , Treasure Island , and Hunters Point —a legacy still reflected in the annual celebration of Fleet Week. The State of California uses San Francisco as the home of the state supreme court and other state agencies.
Foreign governments maintain more than seventy consulates in San Francisco. The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1, persons for each type of offense. In , 50 murders were reported, which is 6. There were about 4, burglaries, 25, thefts, and 4, motor vehicle thefts.
The Tenderloin also sees high rates of drug abuse, gang violence, and prostitution. In the first six months of there were 25 murders compared to 14 in the first six months of However, the murder rate is still much lower than in past decades. According to the San Francisco Police Department, there were 59 murders in the city in , an annual total that marked a None of the victims in this attack were gang members.
Five members of the Joe Boys gang were arrested and convicted of the crime. The San Francisco Police Department was founded in The San Francisco Fire Department provides both fire suppression and emergency medical services to the city. The city operates 22 public "pit stop" toilets. The University of California, San Francisco is the sole campus of the University of California system entirely dedicated to graduate education in health and biomedical sciences.
It is ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States  and operates the UCSF Medical Center , which ranks as the number one hospital in California and the number 5 in the country. It contains research space and facilities to foster biotechnology and life sciences entrepreneurship and will double the size of UCSF's research enterprise. It has an enrollment of about , students and offers an extensive continuing education program.
Founded in , the University of San Francisco , a private Jesuit university located on Lone Mountain , is the oldest institution of higher education in San Francisco and one of the oldest universities established west of the Mississippi River. With an enrollment of 13, students, the Academy of Art University is the largest institute of art and design in the nation. The California Culinary Academy , associated with the Le Cordon Bleu program, offers programs in the culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and hospitality and restaurant management.
Lowell High School , the oldest public high school in the U. Public school students attend schools based on an assignment system rather than neighborhood proximity. San Francisco has nearly preschool programs primarily operated by Head Start , San Francisco Unified School District , private for-profit, private non-profit and family child care providers. The major daily newspaper in San Francisco is the San Francisco Chronicle , which is currently Northern California's most widely circulated newspaper.
The San Francisco Examiner , once the cornerstone of William Randolph Hearst 's media empire and the home of Ambrose Bierce , declined in circulation over the years and now takes the form of a free daily tabloid, under new ownership. San Francisco Magazine and 7x7 are major glossy magazines about San Francisco. The national newsmagazine Mother Jones is also based in San Francisco. The city's oldest radio station, KCBS , began as an experimental station in San Jose in , before the beginning of commercial broadcasting. The city's first television station was KPIX , which began broadcasting in The Pac Network is also based in San Francisco.
Public broadcasting outlets include both a television station and a radio station , both broadcasting under the call letters KQED from a facility near the Potrero Hill neighborhood. San Francisco-based inventors made important contributions to modern media.
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During the s, Eadweard Muybridge began recording motion photographically and invented a zoopraxiscope with which to view his recordings. These were the first motion pictures. Then in , Philo Farnsworth 's image dissector camera tube transmitted its first image.
This was the first television. Due to its unique geography, and the freeway revolts of the late s,  Interstate 80 begins at the approach to the Bay Bridge and is the only direct automobile link to the East Bay. Route connects to the western terminus of Interstate 80 and provides access to the south of the city along San Francisco Bay toward Silicon Valley.
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Northward, the routing for U. State Route 1 also enters San Francisco from the north via the Golden Gate Bridge and bisects the city as the 19th Avenue arterial thoroughfare, joining with Interstate at the city's southern border. Interstate continues south from San Francisco, and also turns to the east along the southern edge of the city, terminating just south of the Bay Bridge in the South of Market neighborhood. After the Loma Prieta earthquake , city leaders demolished the Embarcadero Freeway and a portion of the Central Freeway , converting them into street-level boulevards.
State Route 35 enters the city from the south as Skyline Boulevard and terminates at its intersection with Highway 1. State Route 82 enters San Francisco from the south as Mission Street , and terminates shortly thereafter at its junction with Muni is the seventh-largest transit system in the United States, with ,, rides in Amtrak California Thruway Motorcoach runs a shuttle bus from three locations in San Francisco to its station across the bay in Emeryville. San Francisco was an early adopter of carsharing in America.
The non-profit City Carshare opened in To accommodate the large amount of San Francisco citizens who commute to the Silicon Valley daily, companies like Google and Apple have begun to provide private bus transportation for their employees, from San Francisco locations to the tech start-up hotspot.
These buses have quickly become a heated topic of debate within the city, as protesters claim they block bus lanes and delay public buses. Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in San Francisco. San Francisco has significantly higher rates of pedestrian and bicyclist traffic deaths than the United States on average.
In , 21 pedestrians were killed in vehicle collisions, the highest since ,  which is 2. Cycling is growing in San Francisco.
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San Francisco participates in the Sister Cities program. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 15 January This article is about the city and county in California. For other uses, see San Francisco disambiguation. Consolidated city-county in California, United States. See List of nicknames for San Francisco . Neighborhoods in San Francisco. List of tallest buildings in San Francisco.
Demographics of San Francisco. Homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. List of companies based in San Francisco. Port of San Francisco.
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Culture of San Francisco. San Francisco in popular culture. List of theatres in San Francisco. Sports in the San Francisco Bay Area. List of parks in San Francisco. Welcome to Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. Click here to view all of our offers. Australia 1 Austria 00 Belgium 00 Denmark 00 France 00 Germany 00 HongKong 90 Ireland 00 Israel Malaysia 00 Netherlands 00 NewZealand 00 Norway 00 Sweden 00 Switzerland 00 Back in SoCal, where I lived previously, I was surrounded by friends on the marriage and baby path no thank you!
But in San Francisco, I saw a whole different side of dating. I finally saw and experienced what I was missing out on. I live in the Outer Richmond. I love being as far as possible from the screaming sirens constantly running down Market Street and the insanity of the bar crowds. So what are you doing tonight? Trying to find some trouble to get into. Thought I told you. In the Outer Richmond. I can hear the ocean from my bedroom.
And if you can walk to their place, even better. Give a girl a break!