Blog

BY LAURA TAM, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY DIRECTOR
June 16, 2009

The UK Guardian recently reported from beleaguered Flint, Mich., on a new plan to shrink the city by actually bulldozing unused buildings and neighborhoods.  The idea is to concentrate the dwindling population and city services into a smaller area, or as Detroit has envisioned, many smaller urban centers separated by "forests and meadows&

BY DAVE
June 2, 2009

In an interview with DC Velocity, Norm Mineta, President Bush's Secretary of Transportation and a Democrat from San Jose, provides some fantastic insight into the challenge facing our new DOT chief.

BY JULIE KIM
May 29, 2009

YESTERDAY (live):




TODAY (in the Examiner):

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BY JULIE KIM
May 28, 2009

We're nearly done installing SPUR's first exhibition, Agents of Change: Civic Idealism and the Making of San Francisco. Here's a sneak peak of how it's shaping up—thanks to an amazing cadre of volunteers who have been working around the clock to get the show installed before it opens this Friday.

BY JULIE KIM
May 28, 2009

We're nearly done installing SPUR's first exhibition, Agents of Change: Civic Idealism and the Making of San Francisco. Here's a sneak peak of how it's shaping up—thanks to an amazing cadre of volunteers who have been working around the clock to get the show installed before it opens this Friday.

BY DAVE SNYDER
May 27, 2009

Only five members of the Board of Supervisors today voted to reject the SFMTA budget, two short of the supermajority of seven needed to reject it.

The supermajority requirement was put in the City Charter by Proposition A and Proposition E (both in part crafted by SPUR)  to create a balance between the need to defend the SFMTA from political influence and give the city's elected leaders a chance to reject the budget if it seriously misrepresents their values. 

BY JULIE KIM
May 22, 2009

Yesterday we staged a dress rehearsal for our big day next Thursday—when we'll unveil the Urban Center to over 1,000 people at our grand opening celebration. The scene caused quite a stir on this once-sleepy 600-block of Mission. Cars slowed; sidewalks filled; the Peet's patron paused.

BY DAVE SNYDER
May 21, 2009

The Alliance for Biking & Walking, a national coalition of advocacy organizations, is working the Congressional Bike Caucus. The Caucus represents a majority of members who support an increased federal role in promoting bicycling as a solution to our nation's transportation crisis, not to mention our health and environmental crises.

BY JULIE KIM
May 20, 2009

Just wanted to point your attention to the Bay Conservation Development Commission's upcoming design competition. The jury is seeking ideas inspired by "the common characteristics of estuaries" to prepare and adapt shoreline cities to the challenges of sea level rise. Entries will be displayed in the Ferry Building on July 14-19. Designers: still time to enter your proposal!

BY JULIE KIM
May 19, 2009

We've been stealthily—until today—working away in our new building at 654 Mission Street to get ready for the grand opening of the Urban Center next week. Now there's no mistaking where we've been hiding out!

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BY DAVE SNYDER
May 19, 2009

The Transportation Authority today released the draft Strategic Analysis Report on "Transportation Options for a Better Market Street." 

BY MARY DAVIS
May 13, 2009

Accessibility for persons with disabilities, New Urbanist planners and architects will tell you, is an important principle. Still, other New Urbanist principles can come into conflict with accessibility; or, at least, they often clash with interpretations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or with accessibility as defined by disability-rights advocates.

BY MARY DAVIS
May 13, 2009

To the litany of statistics bearing out the severity of this recession, add one more: the number of Americans who moved between March 2008 and March 2009 was just 35.2 million, the lowest total in 47 years – and back in 1962, there were 120 million fewer Americans.

BY MARY DAVIS
May 13, 2009

Toronto, Ontario, is, by any measure, one of North America’s greenest and most sustainable cities. It is also, by some accounts, the continent’s densest metropolis – but this is due in large part to the hundreds upon hundreds of “slab” highrises that sprouted across its outer neighborhoods in the postwar era.

May 13, 2009

What did modernist planning and architecture look like from the perspective of the modernist? It was progressive, forward-thinking—and may have had more in common with contemporary planning than we'd care to admit.

May 13, 2009

Since the Madrid-Barcelona leg of Spain’s AVE high-speed rail system opened last year, air travel in the corridor has been cut by half. But bullet trains aren’t just changing the ways Spaniards get around: according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, they are literally uniting the country, and revitalizing rural areas.

May 6, 2009

SPUR's Transportation Policy Director today will tell the Board of Supervisors that the SFMTA budget approved by the SFMTA Board last week does not do enough to maintain quality transit service in these tight budget times. The SFMTA is leaving too much on the table in the form of new revenue and cost savings, at least $20 million of budget space that could be used to stave off cuts that will reduce the system's improving reliability.

BY LAURA TAM, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM DIRECTOR
May 6, 2009

National Geographic recently featured a photo essay of green roofs around the world. Featured projects included the Academy of Sciences (of course!), but also a Civic Center bus shelter that SPUR's green roofs task force worked hard to design and build.

BY JULIE
May 2, 2009

A delightful performance in Antwerp's Centration, nicknamed the "Railway Cathedral," and one of the city's most famous landmarks.

BY JULIE
May 2, 2009

New York Times "Streetscapes" columnist Christopher Gray highlights a few of Manhattan's ghost buildings—grand architectural plans shelved after the 1929 stock market crash.

April 4, 2009

Next 10 LogoThe newly-released California Budget Challenge lets you choose...

April 4, 2009

A new report by the Pacific Institute reveals that a 1.4 meter sea level rise will inundate thousands of acres in California and impact almost half a million people by 2100. Hardest hit will be low income people and communities of color, the Bay Area in general, and critical infrastructure like ports, railways, and water treatment facilities. Property damage alone could cost $100 billion.

March 30, 2009

Nicolai Ouroussoff presents one of the most cogent arguments for reinvestment in our cities ever written in the New York Times. His vision is eco-urbanist, to use a term to describe the current era of urban planning, prevalent today after a half dozen previous eras that will be explicated brilliantly in the exhibit to mark the grand opening of SPUR's Urban Center

March 26, 2009

With so much interest in how to access the Federal stimulus funds, the Bay Area Economic Institute is organizing the region's agencies and business groups to develop a coherent regional plan for recovery. This document here is the process and timeline for how the region will come up with its strategy, all of which should be completed by June 1. Project concepts are due in the end of April

March 17, 2009

A new report from the Controller provides comparative information on how much the City and County of SF spends per capita on key services relative to other communities. While making clear that it is not advocating cuts to particular services, it provides an objective set of data points to make appropriate policy decisions. The report also provides information on how certain revenue sources have changed over time.

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