Working Alongside the Community
At UCSF, caring for our patients and community is at the center of all we do. The new UCSF Parnassus Heights campus and hospital will strengthen UCSF’s ability to care for an aging population’s complex health needs, backed by the latest health science research.
Our vision is to create a campus that not only encourages collaboration between our researchers, learners and care providers, but also becomes a community destination for neighbors, patients and visitors alike.
We’ve engaged our neighbors in an extensive community process to promote greater access to our campus, help address housing and transportation issues, and create a welcoming environment for healing.
Engaging the Community
UCSF is committed to working with the community to ensure the new campus best serves the neighborhood. We began our community process for Parnassus Heights in July 2018 through an online survey distributed to surrounding neighbors. More than 1,000 surveys were collected, and the results provided insights into how community members currently use the Parnassus Heights campus and what changes they would like to see. We then engaged thousands of community leaders, merchants, city representatives and staff through meetings, working groups and open houses.
We continue to work with our neighbors throughout the planning and development process of the new Parnassus Heights campus. The following groups convened to provide advice and counsel.
Community Advisory Group
UCSF’s long-standing group of neighborhood leaders located throughout the city was established in 1992. The group continues to provide guidance and feedback on all UCSF planning issues and programs, and helps identify and mitigate community concerns.
Parnassus Community Working Group
A collective representing Parnassus Heights neighbors, community groups, city officials and other stakeholders who guided the development of the Community Ideas Report, which outlines what a revitalized campus could offer to the community. This group was convened in October 2018 and concluded its work in June 2019.
Advisory Committee for the Future of Parnassus Heights
Convened in August of 2019, this group consisted of neighbors, neighborhood merchants and representatives from city agencies and non-profits to advise UCSF on the CPHP’s potential community impacts and provide input on community investment strategies. It concluded its work in June, 2020. Read a summary of their work
August 2020 Community Survey
In August 2020, UCSF surveyed neighbors for feedback on the proposed community investments from the Advisory Committee process. Over 1,250 neighbors participated. The input provided will help UCSF determine priorities and areas of enhancement that will be most beneficial to both the community and UCSF. Read a summary of the survey responses
Working Toward a Common Goal
The culmination of the initial community process was the development of the Community Ideas Report, published in June 2019. This report was developed by a 24-member Community Work Group, consisting of community members and representatives from city agencies, and captures the community’s ideas for a re-envisioned Parnassus Heights campus.
The report identified six focus areas for consideration in planning the new Parnassus Heights campus:
Offer a range of on-campus housing options for students, faculty and staff. Consider more units to reduce transportation demand.
Develop a “pedestrian-first” campus. Improve vehicular traffic patterns on Parnassus Avenue and Irving Street.
Make the campus easier to navigate. Create better flow within the campus, making views more prominent and utilizing the topography of the space.
Include a variety of public spaces on campus with improved streetscapes and connections to the surrounding neighborhood.
Connectivity With Nature
Create a greener campus with more landscaping, trails, and open spaces throughout. Incorporate a “park to peak” connection from Golden Gate Park to Mount Sutro.
Programs & Amenities that Benefit NEIGHBORS
Provide activities and facilities that are available to community members.
The current phase of Parnassus planning will guide development priorities over the next 30 years. UCSF is considering four priority projects to be completed over the next 10 years, if funding is available.
UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center
Planning a new adult acute care hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights. More details are available on our hospital page.
Research & Academic Building
Conducting a validation study to replace UC Hall with a new building that incorporates technology, equipment and space to advance cutting-edge science and education.
Campus Housing at Aldea
Adding to on-campus housing to help ease the city’s housing pressures, as well as create new opportunities for local businesses.
New Irving Street Arrival
Renovating the campus entry from Irving Street to Parnassus Avenue to improve the experience and welcome everyone with better wayfinding.
Committed to a Stronger Community
At UCSF we are proud of our public mission and our longstanding commitment to serve the community. A re-envisioned Parnassus Heights campus will allow us to strengthen our contributions to the city we call home.
Our neighbors will have access to increased services, including cultural and educational events, farmers markets, health and wellness programs and new retail and food options. The new campus and hospital will also strengthen the local economy and create more jobs.
The campus design will feature a “park to peak” model, providing greater access to Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve and trails. Newly designed buildings and more open spaces will enhance the natural beauty of the area, and navigation from Golden Gate Park across campus to Mount Sutro will become more convenient.
We have been working with our community groups to identify investment and collaboration opportunities that meet the needs of the surrounding community. Based on community feedback, current areas of exploration include:
Public Realm and Open Space
The revitalized campus will create more open spaces and provide greater community access to the campus and Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Plans include creating more walkable, inviting streetscapes, improving wayfinding and increasing street-level retail and eateries.
Transportation And Housing
UCSF has been working closely with leaders from the community and the City and County of San Francisco to develop transportation and housing solutions that meet the challenges of a growing city.
In January 2021, UCSF and the City and County of San Francisco announced an agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a set of community benefits to accompany our plans to modernize the campus. The agreement includes increased housing options, ways to ease traffic through safe and efficient transportation options, strategies to mitigate traffic, and commitments to preserving open space.
In April 2022, UCSF released the first annual report about the University’s work to invest in shared priorities with the City, community organizations and neighbors, including housing, transportation, job creation, workforce development, mental health, environmental stewardship, and open space.
UCSF also announced a Community Workforce Agreement for the construction of the new hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights to ensure that the $3 billion project will employ a union workforce with strong representation of local labor.