Known for its quality of life and access to nature, Seattle has long prided itself on refusing to be “world class.” But rapid growth and a diversifying population mean Seattle is changing — whether it wants to or not.
The City of San Francisco owns 1,625 parcels of unmaintained paved land, odd alley-like spaces behind industrial buildings and beneath overpasses. Most are no wider than a city street, but together they have a combined surface area half the size of Golden Gate Park.
Co-working studio [Photo by flickr user ahopsi]
According to a piece in Sunday’s Chronicle, tech employment in San Francisco is approaching its dot-com peak:
If the Fiscal Year 2011 budget debate in Washington has been dramatic, it has also unfolded utterly predictably. But though threats to HSR funding were foreseeable, their ultimate effect is still highly uncertain.
Several weeks ago, I attended a briefing at the SFCTA on the progress of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project. BRT along Van Ness is currently in the midst of final environmental studies and preliminary engineering. Public comment will be solicited this spring on the Environmental Impact Report, after which the project team will recommend a preferred alternative for adoption by the Authority and SFMTA boards.
The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission released their Initial Vision Scenario for growth in the Bay Area at a meeting in Oakland today. By 2035, the scenario assumes the Bay Area will grow by 2 million people (to 9.4 million) and 1.2 million jobs (to 4.5 million).
Largest Mall in the World is a Chinese Ghost Town
The world's largest mall, located in Southern China, is a vast ghost land with occupancy rates that hover at 1%. The mall, built to serve what may someday become a Chinese mega-city, is a glimpse at what can occur when development precedes growth.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is working on an update to the city’s Long Range Transportation Plan. As part of the update, the authority has been conducting analysis of transportation patterns in the city, and looking at projected growth, and its implications.
In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup
Plans for Treasure Island are moving forward to the Planning Commission in March. SPUR is a big supporter of this plan, which will create 8,000 units of housing, 30 percent of which will be affordable, and 450,000 square feet of retail space; rehabilitate historic structures; create 300 acres of open space; and add new ferry service. We especially like the way in which the proposed new development is clustered around the new ferry terminal, as opposed to dispersed across the island.
Beginning this month, Californians will have a new option for auto insurance. It’s called Pay As You Drive (PAYD), and it could save money and reduce our impact on the environment at the same time.
New CarSharing Association Aims to Reduce Car Ownership
Eighteen car-sharing companies from around the globe recently formed the official "CarSharing Association" as a way to come together under the common goal of reducing car ownership and encouraging sustainable forms of urban mobility.
The next several weeks in Washington promise to offer extremely important insights into the future of public transportation spending in this country. Watershed moments are ahead for most every item on the SPUR agenda. Here’s a quick primer of why and of what’s at stake for advocates of smart growth:
With Detroit in Dire Straits, Mayor Invites Big Thinking
In order to take on the challenges posed by a shrinking population, lost revenue and tight budget, Mayor Bing of Detroit is making an open call for any plans, proposals and theories on how to cure the ailing city.
San Francisco might be the cultural center of the region, but in the technology sector the city has generally played second fiddle to the Silicon Valley. That began to change during the dot-com boom and then again more recently, a new generation of startups is setting up in neighborhoods like SoMa and Potrero Hill. (SPUR discussed the trend in its “year in urbanism” recap.)
When it comes to global sporting events, almost as intense as the competition between star athletes is the competition between cities to play host.
That’s because hosting a major international sporting event presents a unique opportunity for a city to redefine its development goals, stimulate investment and boost tourism.