What do better streets mean? Let's explore together.

Exploring, sharing and telling stories builds empathy between users of the street with differing, and sometimes conflicting needs. The National Street Service collects and publishes stories which highlight the opportunities at hand to change streets for the better.

Past Project: The Street Speaks

Our needs and history are reflected in the street, and it is connected to our sense of self. Not everyone experiences the street equally.  In fact, the layout of many streets is hard-wired to support some people and modes over others.  Empathetic Streets seeks to awaken people who the street privileges to the fact that that the streets support their needs - often at the expense of others with less privilege or at the expense of society’s shared values on the street.  The National Street Service helps ensure streets are welcoming, accepting, and forgiving by using experiments to targeted at people who the street privileges to spark moments of self-reflection and empathy for others.


Listen to the Stories - 

  • Call 415-212-4933 to hear Paula tell her story of the inimitable Chile Lindo and the empanada-based joy she brings to 16th Street.

  • Call 415-212-4986 to hear Coral talk about the struggles and alienation of people living on the street.

  • Call 415-212-4864 to hear Julie Mitchell tell the story of her beloved son, Dylan, who was killed by the driver of a garbage truck at 16th and Van Ness in 2013.

  • Call 415-212-4352 to hear Keys, sometime-fireman on Telegraph, talk about Oakland streets.

Past Project: Price Tag the City

What is the true value of a parking spot? What about a bike rack, or a street tree? The Price Tag the City project puts dollar figures to objects we find in the street, and the hidden value of some things might surprise you.
By exposing the costs and benefits of these familiar street features, we aim to start a conversation around better ways to allocate the resource of the street itself and the resources we spend to create and maintain it.

Explore The Price Tags -


Giant Muni ticket attached to a parking meter, comparing maintenance costs to the city to the number of muni tickets which could be purchased.