San Francisco General Hospital
Winning Community Support
When the international architecture firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), was putting a team together to compete for the comprehensive redesign of San Francisco’s Public Hospital, they called on Alfred Williams Consultancy, LLC (AWC) was asked to join the team to help ensure a project-winning proposal. Because this was a public project, SOM knew an effective public outreach/participation strategy would be mandatory for a successful proposal. AWC’s role on the team was to develop an effective public participation strategy and put that strategy into action.
As the master planning for a major municipal public health facility, the San Francisco General Hospital project was seen as critical by a wide spectrum of constituencies throughout San Francisco. Designing and implementing a comprehensive outreach program that would allow the full range of stakeholders to express their concerns and offer feedback was particularly challenging and especially crucial. In addition, residents living near the hospital were concerned about plans to incorporate a helipad into the new facility. While many San Franciscans who utilize the hospital’s services were in strong support of the project, trepidation about the potential dangers of the helipad was so great that some local residents were at first inclined to oppose the project entirely.
Using his expert presentation and communications skills, Williams orchestrated a series of public meetings that enabled the hospital to develop master plan alternatives that addressed the needs and perspectives of all project stakeholders. A preferred alternative was adopted and is now being implemented.