Blog: April, 2010
We Want to See San Francisco Through Your Lens!
We are starting a new posting series with the hopes of engaging the creative points-of-view of the SPUR community. Each week we will feature a few photos from SPUR members and friends in a "Photos of the Week" blog. If you are interested in participating, please upload your images to our Flickr Group Pool. Include a caption, if applicable. For now, the theme is all things SPUR — San Francisco, public space, transportation, street culture, housing, sustainable development, etc. But in the future we may be asking you to share photos around a more focused theme.
To start things off, here are a few images from my own week:
Last Thursday the Fix Muni Now campaign launched with a slew of volunteers — along with Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and SPUR Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf — gathering petition signatures at West Portal. Here are a few images I snapped at the tunnel entrance, reminding me that sometimes a morning commute can be a beautiful thing. More photos from the campaign kick-off here.
A vacant lot down the street from the Urban Center at 524 Mission Street. The spring calendar at the Urban Center includes a series of forums discussing the use of stalled construction sites for public enjoyment. The next Leftover Lots forum is on May 5, with presentations from two projects in Hayes Valley.
A beautiful morning along the Embarcadero. The railings on the waterfront provide a picturesque frame for parked bikes, though they also suggest the Ferry Building may need to increase the capacity of their dedicated bike racks.
The corner of 3rd Street and Palou in the Bayview. A quote from Toni Morrison painted on this mural reads: "Part of this business of living in the world and triumphing over it has to do with the sense that there's some pleasure." And on that note, 3rd Street is hosting this weekend's Sunday Streets!
[Images: Colleen McHugh]
A Gem of the Green Movement, Emerald Cities Published Last Week
In Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development, Joan Fitzgerald, director of the Law, Policy and Society Program at Northeastern University, showcases how some cities have taken the lead in creating policy that is mutually beneficial to both the environment and economic development. Ms. Fitzgerald spoke on this subject and introduced her book at SPUR, this past November 17th.
According to Joan Fitzgerald, it has fallen to cities around the world to embrace the challenge of sustainability, because national governments have failed to come to an agreement on a global policy. The lack of any significant outcome from the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last year serves to underscore the matter: you cannot effect environmental change without addressing the underlying issues of how that change affects disparate groups.
It is not surprising that San Francisco is one of the cities responding to the call to take these economic factors and questions of accessibility into consideration—you can read what SPUR has contributed in our report Critical Cooling: San Francisco can fight global warming through smart changes to local policy.
Fitzgerald agrees that cities are uniquely situated to make a difference due to population density and use of public transportation, to promote and benefit from green economic development in particular. She provides examples of policy from cities that have successfully addressed the interrelated environmental problems of global warming, pollution and energy dependence, with social justice, equity, and job quality in mind as well as policy from cities that have found the process more challenging. Fitzgerald provides a guide to help city and regional planners and policymakers move toward becoming “emerald cities.“
Grass Roots Green: The Indian Perspective on a Sustainable Environment
SPUR is co-hosting with the AIA a lunchtime lecture on bottom-up sustainability practices in India. “Grass roots green” refers to the design approaches in India and other developing countries, which look to innovatively use traditional common-sense methods, knowledge and approaches to minimize consumption. Speakers Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri, cofounders of the Indian design firm, Abhikram, will share some of their award winning projects that follow this bottom-up green strategy.
Join us as we learn how sustainable design concepts and practices differ in India:
Friday, April 16, 12:00 - 1:00 pm
AIA San Francisco, 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600