Descriptive Title: Proportion of land area that is zoned for commercial and residential uses

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Zoning district

Percent of land zoned for residential and commercial uses (2011)
Neighborhood% Residential% Commercial
Bayview/Hunter's Point 24% 4%
Bernal Heights 71% 7%
Castro/Upper Market 79% 7%
Chinatown 54% 37%
Excelsior 72% 4%
Financial District/South Beach 9% 83%
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park NA NA
Haight Ashbury 73% 7%
Hayes Valley
Inner Richmond 84% 9%
Inner Sunset 71% 3%
Lakeshore 36% 3%
Lincoln Park
Lone Mountain/USF
Marina 56% 13%
McLaren Park
Mission 59% 16%
Mission Bay
Nob Hill 78% 19%
Noe Valley 89% 5%
North Beach 24% 45%
Outer Mission 63% 8%
Outer Richmond 86% 6%
Pacific Heights 87% 4%
Potrero Hill 41% 1%
Presidio 0% 0%
Presidio Heights 84% 11%
Russian Hill 71% 16%
San Francisco 50% 7%
Seacliff 19% 0%
South of Market 44% 20%
Treasure Island 0% 0%
Twin Peaks 50% 0%
Visitacion Valley 44% 2%
West of Twin Peaks 83% 3%
Western Addition 69% 21%

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Research has found that neighborhoods with diverse and mixed land uses can create proximity between residences, employment, and goods and services, reducing vehicle trips and miles traveled and increasing active transportation such as walking and biking.a In addition, a 12.2% reduction in odds of being obese was detected with increase in density, mixed use, and street connectivity within 1 km of residential area, i.e., living in a mixed use area with a variety of shops and services is a robust predictor of obesity in urban areas.b Finally, retail development in the context of mixed-use design generates natural public surveillance. Crime reduction and surveillance improves levels of perceived safety.c

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

The map above shows which parts of the city are zoned for residential, commercial, or other uses. Commercial zoning is the densest in the Financial District, North Beach, Chinatown, and Downtown/Civic Center neighborhoods which all have more than 35% of their land zoned for commercial activity. Most neighborhoods in San Francisco have less than 10% of their land zoned for commercial uses. Neighborhoods with the lowest commercial to residential land ratios include: Seacliff, Twin Peaks, Potrero Hill, Diamond Heights, West of Twin Peaks, Outer/Inner Sunset, Pacific Heights, and Visitacion Valley.  


Each zoning category was classified as commercial, residential, or other. Commercial zoning includes: C-2, C-3-G, C-3-O, C-3-O(SD), C-3-R, C-3-S, C-M, CCB, CVR, MB-O, NC-1, NC-2, NC-3, NC-S, NCD, NCT, NCT-1, NCT-2, NCT-3, and SSO zoning categories. Residential zoning includes: CRNC, MUG, MUO, MUR, PM-MU1, PM-MU2, PM-R, RC-3, RC-4, RED, RH-1, RH-1(D), RH-1(S), RH-2, RH-3, RH DTR, RM-1, RM-2, RM-3, RM-4, RSD, RTO, RTO-M, SB-DTR, SLR, SPD, TB DTR, and UMU zoning categories. Zoning districts we shaded on the map according to their commercial/residential/other designation.

To calculate the percent of land in each neighborhood zoned as residential and commercial, each zoning district was assigned to the neighborhood that it fell within. The total number of residential and commercial square feet in each neighborhood was divided by each neighborhood’s total land area in square feet to calculate the percent of land in each category.


Some zoning categories allow both residential and commercial uses. Here, most “mixed use” zoning classifications are considered residential, whereas “neighborhood commercial” (which also permits residential development) is considered commercial. Because this analysis is based on zoning rather than the actual use of the property, we are unable to say what percent of land is actually used for residential or commercial uses. For a more specific zoning map, visit this website:

Data Source

Zoning data:  San Francisco Planning Department, July 2011. Available at:

Map and table prepared by City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software.

Map and table data are presented by planning neighborhood.

etailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

  1. Ewing R, Frank L, Kreutzer R. Understanding the Relationship between Public Health and the Built Environment: A Report to the LEED-ND Core Committee. 2006.

  2. Frank L, Andresen M, Schmid T. 2004. Obesity relationships with community design, physical activity, and time spent in cars. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 27(2):87-96.

  3. Singapore National Crime Prevention Council. 2003. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Guidebook. Available at