Downtown Climate Innovation Hub

Accelerate SF’s Recovery &
Lead a Clean Energy Revolution

At a Glance

  • Maintain safe and clean streets as the foundation of downtown’s recovery.
  • Incentivize cleantech industries to locate in vacant office space downtown.
  • Leverage our lead in artificial intelligence to accelerate a cleantech revolution.
  • Restore San Francisco’s leadership in the fight against climate change.

The Details

The cleantech revolution is coming, and I will ensure it happens in San Francisco.

Our downtown area is experiencing a slow recovery with a record-breaking 37% office vacancy rate. Experts predict a full recovery could take decades, if it happens at all. This impacts everything from city tax revenues to the vitality of small businesses and public safety.
It’s a sad reality that San Francisco has 35 million square feet of available office space—the equivalent of 22 Salesforce Towers. We’ve experienced one of the slowest recoveries of any major city in the country. But this also presents an opportunity.

We Can Make San Francisco a Global Leader in Clean Technology

My administration will incentivize cleantech industries to occupy our vacant office spaces.

We will create a Climate Innovation Hub by:

  • Lowering Business Taxes: I will reduce business taxes on cleantech companies. A measure likely to be on the November ballot, which I support, will be one important step toward doing this by providing an estimated 59% tax decrease.
  • Fast-Tracking Permitting: Fast lane-permitting for tenant improvements will lessen the time and cost associated with getting businesses up and running. Experts say my My City Hall Accountability Plan will lessen the time it takes to get a building permit by four months. I will make that even faster for new and expanding cleantech companies by prioritizing and simplifying their applications.
  • Accelerate AI for Climate Solutions: There’s a high demand for energy transition solutions. Companies like Google and Facebook, with extensive data centers, are seeking ways to meet their climate goals. Our Climate Innovation Hub will bring together AI researchers, universities, technology companies, and startups to develop new, sustainable technologies.

To revitalize downtown with ideas like our Climate Innovation Hub and ensure this prosperous future, we must prioritize public safety 365 days a year. My top priority is maintaining safe and clean streets every day, not just during major events or election years.

Building on a foundation of public safety, we will make downtown better than ever. As mayor, I will foster job growth and investment through this Climate Innovation Hub, attracting talent and investment globally, boosting our economy and tax base.

San Francisco’s Unique Position

Other cities are investing heavily in cleantech, capturing significant venture capital and startups. We cannot allow further investment to leak out of our city, as New York is currently attempting to position itself as the “Silicon Valley of Cleantech” through the expansion of climate hubs in Brooklyn. Since 2021, Brooklyn has captured $3.5 billion in cleantech venture capital investment and added 100 new startups. San Francisco must act swiftly to attract investment and talent and regain its position as a global climate tech leader.

We know that San Francisco is already the center of the AI industry. But as generative AI technology becomes widely accessible and increasingly integrated with our daily lives, it can also leave an incredible carbon footprint. By creating a Climate Innovation Hub, we can make sure AI plays a positive role in the climate crisis. AI will be utilized to develop new technologies that help us transition away from energy infrastructure that is dependent on fossil fuels to one that is environmentally sustainable.

With our advanced AI infrastructure, proximity to universities and Silicon Valley, and ample vacant office space, San Francisco is the best-suited city to lead this initiative. But we need visionary leadership from City Hall.

When I’m mayor, San Francisco will be the global leader in climate technology, attracting businesses and investment, while creating a sustainable future for all.