How It Works

Each Play Street is brought to the community by an Organizing Team of residents and community members who kick things off by hosting a series of 3 or more health-focused block parties on a designated block.
As capacity and interest grow, Organizing Teams can expand to unlimited sessions on their Play Street block and provide more community members with access to open space and recreation.

All Play Streets SF series must be a minimum of 3 sessions in length, with each session lasting a minimum of 3 hours. Each session must take place no more than one month apart.





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Who Is On An Organizing Team?

Organizing Teams are made of 4-10 members who are a mix of neighborhood residents, community members, and nonprofit representatives. Collectively, the Organizing Team assumes responsibility for ensuring their Play Street follows all program guidelines.

To ensure a successful series, each Play Street Organizing Team will need to assign a member to the Captain Roles below.

Administrative Captain

Responsible for acting as the primary point of contact to Livable City for the Organizing Team’s application, equipment orders, and technical assistance requests.

Block Captain

Must be a resident of the Play Street block. Responsible for acting as a Play Street ambassador to the neighbors. Block Captains often help store signs and equipment in between sessions, but this is not required.

Safety Captain

Responsible for recruiting and training safety monitors to be present during all hours of the street closure.

Waste Captain

Responsible for ensuring all trash is sorted and disposed of using the 3-bin system (Recycling, Compost, Landfill) and that the street is left clear of trash at the end of each session.

Outreach Captain

Responsible for leading door knocking, including recruiting multi-lingual volunteers. Act as primary point of contact for questions from community members by providing phone number and email address for outreach materials.

Programming Captain

Responsible for recruiting organizations and volunteers to host activities. Help coordinate equipment needs and activity placement between partners and provide instructions for volunteers.

Don’t Forget!
  • Contact information for each Captain is required to complete your Play Street application.
  • It is highly recommended to have a team member dedicated to each of the Captain roles, but members are allowed to fill up to two Captain roles.
  • Captains are not required to be present at all Play Street sessions, but must attend a one-time training with Livable City before the first Play Street session.

What Do We Do At A Play Street?

All Play Streets and activities must be free and open to the public. At a minimum, Each Play Street session must provide equipment or programming support for the following:

  • 3 active activities (hop-scotch, jump rope, dance class, etc.)
  • 1 activity that is accessible for people with limited mobility (board games, bubbles, performances or presentations)
  • 1 community building activity (comment box or board, community potluck, NERT training)
Is food allowed?

No commercial food sales are allowed within a Play Street footprint.

Community members may organize a potluck or host a BBQ on their private property.

Free food services require an additional form. Please email no less than 6 weeks prior to your free food service date to complete the necessary paperwork.

Can I Have A Band or DJ Play Amplified Music?

If you are interested in having amplified sound at your Play Street – beyond a basic battery-powered Bluetooth speaker – please contact at least 6 weeks prior to your planned amplified sound activity.

Prohibited Activities
  • Use of or promotion of tobacco/smoking products or alcohol
  • Use of or promotion of beverages or food that does not meet the City and County of San Francisco’s HEAL legislation (i.e. sodas and other sugary beverages, foods with added sugar and/or hydrogenated oils)
  • Distribution of individual, single-use plastic water bottles
  • Amplified sound (beyond basic battery-powered Bluetooth speakers)
  • Commerce and/or sales (market place, food trucks and stalls, etc)
  • Gated, paid programming (pay rides, VIP lounges, etc)
  • Motor vehicles or motor vehicle shows

Where Can We Hold A Play Street?

Ideal Play Streets are flat, straight and already have low car traffic. Most streets with a high number of storefronts (known as commercial corridors) are not eligible for a Play Street permit, though some exceptions for streets with a mix of residents and businesses may be permitted.

Streets with bus stops or routes, emergency vehicle routes, parking meters or more than one lane of traffic in each direction are not eligible for a Play Street.

Outreach Requirements
  • Gather signatures of support from a minimum of 51% of the households and businesses on the street.
  • Conduct a minimum of 1 door knocking session on the proposed Play Street block prior to the first session.
  • Post signs and flyer cars on the Play Street block a minimum of 3 days prior to each Play Street session.
  • Use only SF Play Streets’ supplied signs and outreach templates; Written approval is required for any original or heavily modified artwork.