Blog

BY LAURA TAM, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY DIRECTOR
June 16, 2011

There’s something in it for everyone to hate and something for everyone to love, but after two years, we are optimistic: We may be very close to a consensus on how to amend the San Francisco Bay Plan with new information about climate change.

BY BEN GRANT, PUBLIC REALM AND URBAN DESIGN PROGRAM MANAGER
June 16, 2011

The Ocean Beach master planning process took a big step forward this month. The project team, led by SPUR, presented four “test scenarios” at its second public meeting on June 4. Based on input from our first public meeting in January, the scenarios explore the outcomes of very different approaches to managing coastal erosion, infrastructure and ecology at Ocean Beach until the year 2100.

June 15, 2011

SPUR’s 31st annual Good Government Awards, held earlier this year, honored five City of San Francisco employees and teams who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

BY COREY MARSHALL, GOOD GOVERNMENT POLICY DIRECTOR
June 14, 2011

In the coming weeks, the SF Board of Supervisors Rules Committee will be hearing the "consensus" proposal for pension reform, which Mayor Ed Lee and a coalition of the city’s labor unions released May 24. The board has until July to make amendments and vote on the proposal.

The proposal, which projects savings of $1 billion over ten years, would:

BY ELIZABETH HOEHNKE
June 13, 2011
The 108 Treasure Island bus. Photo by flickr user juicyrai.

According to a recent analysis by the carbon-offset managers at CO2IMPACT, San Francisco tops the list of U.S. cities ready for climate change.

BY ANIKA JESI
June 10, 2011
Gold Line at East Los Angeles Civic Center Station. Photo by flickr user transitpeople.

In preparation for their relocation to Downtown L.A., Gensler, one of the world's largest architectural firms, has already envisioned how to make the neighborhood a more energized, livable place.

BY PETER ENZMINGER
June 8, 2011
Photo by Karen Chapple

Accessory dwelling units — better known as cottages, in-law apartments or granny flats — could provide an estimated 1,000 new residences near selected BART stations, research by UC Berkeley Professor Karen Chapple shows.

BY ANIKA JESI
June 6, 2011
Borneo-Sporenburg Bridge, Photo by flickr user silent stereo

As the Netherlands have no suburbs, planners in the area face the unique challenge of accommodating a growing population within the confines of dense cities, without expanding into the neighboring countryside.

BY MICAH HILT
June 2, 2011

BART station in the East Bay, photo by flickr user travesty01

BY GRETCHEN HILYARD
June 2, 2011

The recent renovation of the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) by Mark Cavagnero Associates has brought much-deserved attention to this important Modernist design.

June 1, 2011

SPUR’s 31st annual Good Government Awards, held earlier this year, honored five City of San Francisco employees and teams who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

BENJAMIN GRANT, PUBLIC REALM AND URBAN DESIGN PROGRAM MANAGER
June 1, 2011

Please join us at the Golden Gate Park Senior Center on Saturday, June 4th for the Ocean Beach Master Plan Public Workshop #2.

BY COLE ARMSTRONG
May 31, 2011
 

A recent editorial by the Regional Plan Association cites this sobering stat (from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) to make the argument for a higher tax on gasoline as a way to both reduce carbon emissions and raise revenues in a time of huge fiscal shortfalls.

BY ANIKA JESI
May 27, 2011
 

Seattle is consistently ranked one of the nation's most bikeable and walkable cities, with low pedestrian fatality rates, bicycle-friendly legislation and a high percentage of commuters who bike or walk to work.

BY COLE ARMSTRONG
May 24, 2011

San Franciscans have been throwing compostable waste into the “third bin” for 15 years now, since we began a composting pilot program in 1996. But anyone who thinks the third bin has only tertiary importance should know that since its beginning, San Francisco’s composting program has offset 354,600 metric tons of greenhouse gasses, equivalent to the emissions of all vehicles crossing the Bay Bridge for over two years.

BY COLLEEN MCHUGH
May 23, 2011

One of the greatest allures of a smart phone is the time it saves at the bus stop. Having real-time transit info and nearby stop locations at your fingertips makes city living just a little easier. But popular transit apps are just the beginning. Increasingly, smart phone technology is fundamentally changing the way we physically experience our cities.

BY ANIKA JESI
May 20, 2011

Mark Bittman of the New York Times calls Detroit a model of "self-reliance and growth," citing the residents ability to look within the city for solutions to challenges posed by a shrinking population. The key to Detroit's recent successes, Bittman argues, is food.

BY MICAH HILT
May 17, 2011

Tomorrow night, we open "Adapt!" an exhibition on the coming effects of climate change in the Bay Area. The show highlights key points from a SPUR policy report released earlier this month, which explains the kinds of changes we can expect to our climate — and what we need to do now to prepare.

MICAH HILT
May 13, 2011
Compare this to the national picture: only 8.7% of U.S. household don't have cars. While we're certainly ahead of most parts of the country on carfree living, this still means that more than two thirds of San Francisco households do own a car -- and a higher percentage of San Franciscans, 38.9%, use their cars to drive alone to work.
-BY COLE ARMSTRONG AND ELIZABETH HOEHNKE
May 12, 2011

SPUR’s 31st annual Good Government Awards, held earlier this year, honored five City of San Francisco employees and teams who have performed exceptionally, becoming models for other agencies and cities around the country.

BY PETER ENZMINGER
May 10, 2011

SPUR has made the case that an expanded bike network gives residents a safer option to add exercise and subtract carbon from their transportation diet.

BY GRETCHEN HILYARD
May 9, 2011

All eyes are on San Francisco's waterfront, as the city prepares for the 34th America's Cup, to be held in San Francisco in 2013. The recent release of Port City: The History and Transformation of the Port of San Francisco, 1848-2010, provides the opportunity to look back at the long and varied evolution of the eastern edge of the city as we envision its future.

BY ANIKA JESI
May 9, 2011
 

In an effort to densify single-family neighborhoods and increase the affordable housing stock in the city,  Seattle has begun a new rezoning project to allow homeowners to build stand-alone cottages in the yards behind their residences.

May 9, 2011

On May 4 SPUR released a major report, "Climate Change Hits Home," that lays out what the Bay Area must do to start preparing for the coming effects of climate change. This project, a multi-year effort by a team of top climate scientists and government leaders, represents a turning point for SPUR.

By Karen Steen
May 3, 2011

The back window of our office here at SPUR looks out on a building with an entertaining tenant, a green Pacific Parrotlet who has free range of his studio apartment and an impressive collection of plastic toys. After observing his activities, we became curious about our feathered neighbor and Tweeted him the old-fashioned way. We taped a note up in the window:

Hi green bird!
We think you’re awesome.
What’s your name?

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