Blog

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
April 5, 2012

On March 9, 2012, San Francisco issued its first zoning permit for “neighborhood urban agriculture.”  The change of use permit, given to Little City Gardens, allows the small urban farming business to grow produce for sale at its three-quarter-acre market garden in the Mission Terrace neighborhood.

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
April 3, 2012

Let’s say you’ve got a great jam recipe. Or perhaps you make some mean pickles.  Your friends keep telling you that you should quit your day job and follow your culinary passion. But unless you’ve got quite a bit of savings or other access to capital, following your friends’ advice is a pricey proposition.

By Corey Marshall, Good Government Policy Director
April 2, 2012

This June’s primary election will bear little resemblance to the contentious ballot San Franciscans considered last November. Gone are the competing pension reform measures, sales taxes and bonds. We’re left with two measures, both placed on the ballot by voter petition.

March 22, 2012

This year at our 32nd annual Good Government Awards, SPUR honored Ed Harrington with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the City and County of San Francisco, including unparalleled fiscal leadership and managerial excellence through five mayoral administrations.

March 22, 2012

SPUR's 32nd annual Good Government Awards, held March 19, honored City of San Francisco employees who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

 

March 22, 2012

SPUR's 32nd annual Good Government Awards, held March 19, honored City of San Francisco employees who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

 

March 22, 2012

SPUR's 32nd annual Good Government Awards, held March 19, honored City of San Francisco employees who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

 

March 22, 2012

SPUR's 32nd annual Good Government Awards, held March 19, honored City of San Francisco employees who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

 

March 22, 2012

This year at our 32nd annual Good Government Awards, SPUR honored the SFpark Pilot Program team — Jay Primus, George Reynolds, Steven Lee and Lorraine Fuqua — for its implementation of its groundbreaking smart parking management program.

by Corey Marshall, Good Government Policy Director
March 19, 2012

As the rest of the country eagerly watches the Republican presidential primary drama unfold, San Francisco prepares for a comparatively uneventful June election. Five proposed initiatives have dropped off the ballot, leaving the city to consider just two measures this election. Prop. A would change the competitive procurement and franchising for solid waste disposal in the city.

March 15, 2012

On Thursday, March 8, the San Pedro Square Market filled with supporters of the new SPUR San Jose office, which opened in January. The 500 urbanists who joined us received a thundering welcome from San Jose Taiko, an award-winning traditional drumming group based in San Jose’s Japantown.

By Jennifer Warburg and Egon Terplan
March 15, 2012

On February 28, Salesforce announced its was suspending plans to build a 2-million-square-foot campus on the 14 acres it had acquired in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. Citing that it has grown faster than expected, the company will instead lease existing space two miles north, near Market Street in San Francisco’s Central Business District.

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
March 15, 2012

Two sites owned by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in San Francisco moved closer to becoming urban agriculture projects this week.

by Corey Marshall, Good Government Policy Director
February 24, 2012

As the economy struggles to recover in the Bay Area, what are the prospects for city revenues in San Francisco? City budget staffers and experts on the local economy gathered at the 2012 Annual Economic Briefing, hosted by SPUR's Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee, to discuss regional trends and projections for the city’s major revenue streams. The upshot: Our experts are starting to see some good news on the horizon. Unemployment has finally begun to decline, and San Francisco...

By Sarah Karlinsky, Tomiquia Moss and Leah Toeniskoetter
February 23, 2012

Redevelopment agencies across the state closed their doors on February 1, marking the end of an era for planning in California. How are San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose dismantling their agencies? What’s going to happen to the on-going projects and existing assets held by redevelopment agencies? Is this the last word — or will we witness the creation of other planning tools to do some of the work that was previously done by redevelopment agencies?

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
February 22, 2012

Can you make a living selling what you grow in a city?

That’s a question a number of urban farming entrepreneurs have been working to answer in the past few years, and initial numbers are beginning to become public.

February 1, 2012

Members-only walking tours are one of the great benefits of joining SPUR. Tour leaders such as planners, architects, elected officials and other insiders spend a few hours with us, sharing their expert lens on our region. Want to know what's in store for 2012? Our new calendar of spring tours and other events is now online.

By Sam LaTronica
January 25, 2012

How can a rich historical space welcome visitors and new community members while ensuring that it continues to work for current residents? This question is central to the future of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Stockton Street, one of the busiest corridors in the city, must decide how to accommodate additional growth and change in the coming years. To address these concerns while maintaining affordable housing, transit equity, pedestrian safety and a sense of community, SPUR and the...

by Gabriel Metcalf, Executive Director
January 24, 2012

On December 20, the California Supreme Court upheld the legislature’s elimination of redevelopment agencies. Each city now needs to figure out how to do what has been traditionally been done with redevelopment funds. What does this surprising turn of events mean for the urbanist agenda in California?

By Corey Cook*
January 6, 2012

I very much appreciate reading Professor Rich DeLeon’s response to my article on the recent municipal elections in San Francisco. Thank you to SPUR for encouraging this dialogue – I think the “author meets critic” format is a good one for instigating a reasoned and analytic debate.

By Rich DeLeon*
January 6, 2012

Professor Corey Cook’s article in the December 2011 Urbanist assesses San Francisco’s ranked-choice voting (RCV) system in the 2011 mayoral election.

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
January 3, 2012

Starting a garden or farm in San Francisco just got a little bit easier.  Pulling together the most recent changes to city laws, the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance recently released a guide to the regulations for growing and selling food within San Francisco.

The guide covers a host of topics including:

December 21, 2011

SPUR is pleased to issue a call for applicants for a twelve-week fellowship in the summer of 2012. The Piero N. Patri Fellowship in Urban Design is a hands-on position for a current graduate student or 2010/2011 graduate in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture or a related field. The fellowship provides the opportunity to gain firsthand experience working in the urban design and planning field on a project that will have a positive impact on the city of San Francisco and the...

By Corey Marshall, Good Government Policy Director
December 19, 2011

Ever the pioneer in the political process, California is once again experimenting with its democracy, this time with new approach to helping the public understand reform proposals. Conducted earlier this year, the What’s Next California Project is California’s first state-wide deliberative poll, in which a random sample of the population is polled on important public-policy issues, then gathers to discuss them and is polled again. Is this the...

By Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
December 15, 2011

This is a time of significant flux in the Bay Area’s regional planning landscape. There is a serious proposal in the California State Legislature to change the way the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is governed and increasing talk about whether it and other regional agencies can play a stronger role in economic development. In early December, SPUR testified at both a state senate hearing and at the Bay Area’s Joint Policy Committee about economic development and the role...

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