Andrew Chamings writes in The Bold Italic on Marcinello, a thankfully failed project to transform the wilds of the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco into a 1960s suburbia. Here are the Marin Headlands with San Francisco just visible, from Flickr with a Creative Commons license:

In the 1960s, when the suburbs were taking over America, a keen real estate developer from Pittsburgh, Thomas Frouge, dreamed about building a city on top of the Marin Headlands—Marincello.

His vision: a city rising from the slopes of the Tennessee Valley, where residents could gaze across the shimmering water, past the Golden Gate Bridge and on to San Francisco. Frouge described the headlands as “the most beautiful location in the United States for a new community.”

But thanks to some persistent conservationalists, red tape and shoddy planning, that vision never came to life—and those rocky headlands just north of the bridge remain a natural haven. The open hilltops and ridges are still cloaked in coastal shrub. The flowing, open natural landscape is one of the most frequented tourist attractions in Northern California. …

In 1972 the land was sold to the Nature Conservancy for $6.5 million, and the area soon became part of the newly formed Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

I’d rate running through the Marin Headlands and experiencing that natural landscape for an afternoon as probably one of the best experiences of my life. San Francisco can fix its population probably by fixing its zoning and density problems.