Blog

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
May 29, 2012

Seven city agencies spent nearly a million dollars supporting urban agriculture projects in San Francisco in 2010-2011. Yet there is no single staff person responsible for coordinating that funding, nor any overarching goals for how the money is used. Urban agriculture legislation introduced on April 24 by Supervisor David Chiu, however, would change that.

By Corey Marshall, Good Government Policy Director
May 21, 2012

As the deadline approaches to submit measures for the November ballot, the City and County of San Francisco is moving ahead aggressively with its effort to reform the city’s business tax. While the city has made significant progress in recent weeks, there are some signs that the complexity and commitment to reform are being further complicated by increasing calls for a tax that would not just replace revenue from the existing payroll tax but bring the city additional funds.

By Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
May 18, 2012

After more than six years of planning, we now have a clearer picture of what bus rapid transit might look like on Van Ness Avenue. This past Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency unanimously approved a combination of two out of the four designs under consideration. SPUR has advocated for this blend as the best option for an effective system on Van Ness.

By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
May 17, 2012

The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite delivers water to 2.6 million Bay Area residents every day. This November, a group of environmental advocates will put forth a ballot measure that would require the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to develop a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy. But tearing down O’Shaughnessy Dam in order to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley would be a disaster. In fact this ballot measure is so problematic that SPUR has taken early action to oppose it.

By Jennifer Warburg
May 9, 2012

In recent months, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego each passed their first Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) in response to Senate Bill 375, the 2008 state bill requiring each region in California to create a coordinated land use and transportation plan to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions from driving.

By Corey Marshall, Good Government Policy Director
April 24, 2012

For the last decade, businesses in San Francisco have been adamant that the city’s payroll tax is holding back job growth. First, companies must pay the tax when they reach $250,000 in payroll, which discourages new hiring. Second, they must pay it when employees exercise their stock options — a strong incentive for any company considering an IPO to leave the city.

by Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
April 10, 2012

Meals cooked from scratch. At least a quarter of the ingredients locally sourced. Fresh produce from the 1.5-acre farm adjacent to the new central kitchen. These are just a few of the goals in a new vision for Oakland’s school food program detailed in a recently released report. 

By Noah Christman, Deland Chan, Vivian Chang and Cindy Wu
April 9, 2012

The Stockton Street Enhancement Project, spearheaded by Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) and SPUR, brought Chinatown and SPUR stakeholders together to discuss ways to preserve the economic and cultural vitality of Stockton Street while offering opportunity areas for improvement through the next decade.

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.

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 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?

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