San Francisco, CA —Mayor London N. Breed today swore in former Historic Preservation Commissioner Lydia So to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors at the Chinatown Rose Pak Station.
An advocate for cultural equity and sustainable urban growth, Lydia was appointed by late Mayor Lee in 2017 to the Arts Commission, providing a vision for city planning, improve design quality of city owned properties, regulate the 1%-for-art-program, and act as a liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) to support affordable housing production for all San Franciscans.
"Lydia has extensive experience in public service and has been a longtime advocate for San Francisco and her community,” said Mayor London Breed. “With her knowledge and commitment to serving our communities, I am confident Lydia will be able to work closely with the SFMTA on addressing transportation issues and advancing transit priorities that are critical to continue to move our City forward.”
Prior to founding her own architecture firm in 2015 to improve the living environments and cultural equities of families and business owners in the Bay Area, Lydia managed the Apple retail real estate team in North America.
“Public transit connects people to their community. I am honored to have Mayor Breed’s trust to take on this leadership opportunity to improve the public transit system in San Francisco, especially during a time this city is recovering from the pandemic,” Lydia So said.
Lydia was one of the first minority woman architects to be promoted to Associate at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the San Francisco office, honing her design skills and trailblazing the technical aspects of architecture and engineering practice historically dominated by men.
Lydia’s practice has made positive impacts on regional urban growth, transit-oriented developments and sustainability. Her global experience includes some of the world’s tallest buildings, most advanced life science buildings and the world’s first all glass spiral staircase.
“The volume of community members in attendance at the swearing in, is a testament of how impactful Lydia has been in the community,” said Malcolm Yeung, Executive Director, Chinatown CDC. “She will bring a unique skill set to the SFMTA Board because she understands places, land use and the built environment. But more importantly, she understands the critical role transit plays in keeping unique environments vital. Lydia will be an incredible addition to the Board.”