Blog

By Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
April 24, 2012

Earlier this spring, high-speed rail in California took two very significant steps. First Bay Area leaders announced a plan to electrify Caltrain, which would make it possible for Caltrain and high-speed rail to share the same tracks between San Jose and San Francisco. Second the California High-Speed Rail Authority released an updated business plan that cuts the cost of the train system by a third. While these important steps will move the project forward, there are major unresolved...

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.

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.

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