January 2017

Jan
19
Thu
San Francisco

Soda Taxes: What Happened and What’s Next?

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
This past November, voters in three Bay Area cities passed taxes on sugary drinks. These successes, only two years after San Francisco first failed to pass a soda tax, and the wide margin of support for the taxes may signal a tipping point in public acceptance. Join us for a discussion with leaders of this fall’s campaigns about what led to these victories and what’s next for soda taxes, both in the Bay Area and beyond. + Supervisor Malia Cohen...
Jan
24
Tue
San Francisco

Can State Policy Changes Fix Housing Affordability in California?

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The path to fixing California’s housing affordability crisis starts with the state capital. There have been numerous policy ideas swirling around Sacramento in recent years, from securing a permanent funding source for affordable housing to establishing some form of by-right legislation. But what policies will move the needle the most? Hear from the state’s leading expert on local government finance about how organizations across the state are joining forces to change the rules that drive affordability. + Fred Silva /...
Jan
24
Tue
San Jose

Transit Maps: Past, Present and Future

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In a world of smartphones and open data, are paper transit maps still important? Why do tangible maps matter to people and places? What types of transit information need to be displayed in a transit system? Join us a for a discussion about transit maps past, present and future and why physical maps may still have crucial roles to play in how we use transit to navigate in and around our cities. + Meghan Hade / Mapzen + Claudia Preciado...
Jan
26
Thu
San Francisco

Adapting to Rising Tides at Mission Creek

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Located along the eastern waterfront of San Francisco, Mission Creek, one of the city’s lowest-lying areas, is vulnerable to flooding from both sea level rise and stormwater runoff. SPUR, the City of San Francisco and Dutch partners recently published a study that describes design concepts for the creek and its surroundings. Learn more about what can be done to build resilience on the waterfront. + Laura Tam / SPUR + Brad Benson / Port of San Francisco + Peter Wijsman / Arcadis
Jan
31
Tue
San Francisco

Small Sites, Big Impact

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In the face of rising rents, increased evictions and property sales, San Francisco launched its Small Sites Program in July 2014 to fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of 5- to 25-unit rental buildings. Participating partners are able to remove these small sites from the market, make important capital repairs and then restrict them for long-term affordability. To date, the program has assisted 78 units in 13 buildings, with more to come in 2017. Learn about how the program is working,...

February 2017

Feb
1
Wed
Oakland

Political Will for a Livable Planet

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Economists from across the political spectrum agree that the most effective and efficient way to rapidly reduce emissions across the globe is to put a price on carbon. Since 2007, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), an international grassroots organization, has been lobbying the U.S. Congress to pass a fully rebated national fee on carbon. Hear about their progress, both in Washington and here in California, and a how a national fee on carbon could interface with our state’s current cap-and-trade program...
Feb
1
Wed
San Francisco

Using Cap-and-Trade to Improve California’s Transportation

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Cap-and-trade is at the core of California’s climate plan. It helps limit greenhouse gas emissions by setting a price on carbon, which then drives investment in cleaner technology, fuels and energy efficiency. Now, revenue from this program is being used to provide grants that will help modernize our bus, rail and ferry systems to reduce the state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions: transportation. Come learn about these landmark climate programs and what they mean for the Bay Area. +...
Feb
2
Thu
San Jose

The Santana Row Effect

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Where once development was either urban, suburban or rural, we are now seeing the lines blurring, and elements like “city centers,” “town centers” and “lifestyle centers” are emerging. What are these new forms of development and why are they finding ground now? More importantly, what do they mean for traditional downtowns, which have found their own resurgence in recent years? + Chris Calott / UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design
Feb
2
Thu
San Francisco

What Makes a Great City

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
What is it that makes a city great? According to noted planner Alexander Garvin, it’s not something physical. Instead, it’s what happens inside the city that makes it exceptional: Great cities are dynamic cities that constantly change to satisfy their demands. His latest book, What Makes a Great City , analyzes this theory and frames it through case studies of some of the world’s best-loved metropolises, including Paris, London, New York and Vienna. + Alexander Garvin / author, What Makes...
Feb
7
Tue
San Jose

Fossil-Free Bay Area

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
California has the most ambitious climate policy framework in the world, and the Bay Area has the resources, political temperament and innovative spirit to demonstrate how to work toward eliminating fossil fuel use. But is that spirit enough to go fossil-free? San Jose is doing exploratory work on a clean energy program, and SPUR’s latest report lays out an agenda for the region to transition to a high-efficiency, 100% renewable energy system that will create a model for other urban...
Feb
7
Tue
San Francisco

Just Eat It

Film Screening 6:00 p.m.
We all love food. As a society, we celebrate cooking, restaurants and food culture. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly half of our food away every year? After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, the filmmakers of Just Eat It pledged to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. After the screening, join a discussion with...
Feb
8
Wed
San Francisco

Civic Center Commons: Creating Inclusive Public Space

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The city and many community partners are bringing new and dynamic attractions and experiences to the Civic Center Commons — Civic Center Plaza, United Nations Plaza and the space between — while better engaging and serving the low- or no-income people who rely on these spaces every day. Hear from the multi-disciplinary team that is currently working on this complex equation and learn how they’ve outlined a road map for creating a truly inclusive public space. Generously sponsored by Zendesk...
Feb
8
Wed
San Francisco

Debates Worth Having: Does Inclusionary Housing Create Affordability?

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Many cities around the Bay Area require that developers building projects of a certain size pay an affordable housing fee or, alternatively, offer a percentage of their units at a below-market-rate price that is affordable to low- or middle-income households. In theory, this inclusionary housing increases the availability of affordable residential units in our communities, but its opponents argue that the opposite is actually true. Join us for a debate between two of the region’s housing experts on the controversial...
Feb
9
Thu
San Francisco

Drinks and Discourse: Fran Weld

Young Urbanists 6:00 p.m.
The Bay Area continues to evolve thanks to advances in technology, passionate advocacy, and innovative thinking and development, with a handful of cutting-edge thinkers leading the charge. Come grab a beer and hear from the key people who are shaping the region’s future. In this installment, we talk with the San Francisco Giants’ director of development about her thoughts on cities, the function of sports teams in activating our urban fabric and the career path that landed her in her...
Feb
10
Fri
San Francisco

Coffee With a Wonk: SPUR Regional Policy Director Egon Terplan

Special Program 9:00 a.m.
Got ideas or questions about your city? Thoughts on transportation or affordable housing? An interest in zoning or an obsession with BRT? Come to SPUR’s St. Clare cafe on the second Friday of each month to discuss policy and planning with our crackerjack team of thinkers and planners. In February, join us for a discussion about the interconnected issues of equity, displacement and regional planning in the Bay Area and beyond. + Egon Terplan / SPUR + Allison Arieff / SPUR
Feb
13
Mon
San Jose

Affordable by Design 101

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Compact, efficient housing without bells and whistles often rents for less without requiring a subsidy, and SPUR has advocated for more of this kind of housing in order to address the region’s ongoing housing shortage. Join us for a nuanced conversation on housing types that some consider more attainable or “affordable by design,” such as micro-units, in-law units and modular construction. Co-presented by ULI Silicon Valley. + Yes Duffy / David Baker Architects + Adam Marcus / San Jose Department...
Feb
13
Mon
Oakland

Oakland and Prosperity for All: Native Oaklanders Speak

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
What does it take to balance growth and affordability in a manner that generates prosperity for all? Longtime Oaklanders have seen the city grow remarkably during their lifetimes, and the recent introduction of new industries like tech has created significant changes in how Oakland looks, feels, operates and costs. In the first part of a new series, join us as select native Oaklanders share their visions for how Oakland can retain its rich character and history while evolving in ways...
Feb
15
Wed
San Francisco

Exploring McLaren Park

Walking Tour 10:00 a.m.
McLaren Park, the second-largest park in San Francisco, is currently undergoing an intensive community engagement process to better understand how $10 million of recently approved capital improvement funding could make the park better for neighbors and visitors alike. Join us for a tour of the park as we explore its varied views and unique amenities and discuss how they could be best preserved and enhanced. Generously sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. + Dawn Kamalanathan / San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department...
Feb
15
Wed
San Jose

A Rooftop Farm Atop Levi’s Stadium

Walking Tour 12:00 p.m.
Levi’s Stadium, home to the 49ers football team, was already one of the greenest stadiums in the country when it opened in 2014. This year, the team took things a step further when it opened a new rooftop urban farm. The 4,000-square-foot space, dubbed Faithful Farm, complements the stadium’s existing green roof and will soon be used as a teaching space for the community. Join us for a guided tour of this unique garden above the gridiron. Generously sponsored by...
Feb
15
Wed
Oakland

Make Me Feel Safe: Achieving Safe Modes of Transportation

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Helping people feel safe is a key aspect of making transit, biking and walking an appealing transportation option. While it’s common to think that safety depends on law enforcement and self-control, groups like Vision Zero are demonstrating that safety can also be achieved through good design. Hear an in-depth discussion about the many dimensions of safety and how we can make people who bike, walk or take transit feel protected. + Leah Shahum / Vision Zero Network + Menaka Mohan...
Feb
16
Thu
San Jose

Getting to Know The Alameda

Walking Tour 12:30 p.m.
Over the next few decades, San Jose plans to accommodate growth in nearly 70 “urban villages.” The city recently approved the urban village plan for The Alameda, a historic, increasingly mixed-use district close to Diridon Station. This is one of the first urban village plans that have gone to the city council for approval. Come walk around The Alameda to talk about what this recent approval means for the neighborhood. Generously sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. + Leila Hakimizadeh / San...
Feb
16
Thu
San Francisco

Touring the Historic Browning Courthouse

Walking Tour 3:00 p.m.
Completed in 1905, the James R. Browning United States Court of Appeals Building was built to fill San Francisco’s dire need for a federal presence. Having survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes, the building was restored and given a complete seismic retrofit before reopening in 1996. Today, this fully operational landmark remains one of the best examples of American Renaissance architecture in the country. Join us for a tour of this historic building, and get up close with the...
Feb
16
Thu
Oakland

Drinks and Discourse: Lynette McElhaney

Young Urbanists 6:00 p.m.
The Bay Area continues to evolve thanks to advances in technology, passionate advocacy, and innovative thinking and development, with a handful of cutting-edge thinkers leading the charge. Come grab a beer and hear from the key people who are shaping the region’s future. In this installment, we talk with the Council President of Oakland’s City Council about her thoughts on cities, how being the daughter of a city worker helped prepare her for public service and the career path that...
Feb
21
Tue
San Francisco

Rethinking the Corporate Campus

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The pervasive, traditional corporate campus form — resource-intensive, suburban, car-dependent — may prove to threaten the Bay Area’s singular innovation ecosystem. Over the last year, SPUR has undertaken a corporate campus research project to address these challenges. Come hear about the report’s finding, and what steps SPUR recommends to enable this critical economic engine, the corporate campus, to grow more efficiently and sustainably. Co-presented by AIA San Francisco and ULI San Francisco. + Allison Arieff / SPUR + Benjamin Grant...
Feb
21
Tue
Oakland

Berkeley’s Newest Urban Farm

Walking Tour 4:00 p.m.
This past fall, a new 2-acre farm was inaugurated in West Berkeley. Run by the nonprofit Urban Adamah, it provides an educational space and community center that integrates the practices of Jewish tradition, sustainable agriculture and social action. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and vision of the project and what it takes to get a new urban farm up and running. Afterwards, follow us across the street for a no-host visit to Fieldwork Brewing Company to...
Feb
22
Wed
San Francisco

Zoning at 100: A Look Back

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Zoning is the basic regulatory tool for city planning and since its birth with the 1916 New York City Zoning Resolution, it has spent the last century constantly evolving. The tool has been pressed into the service of urban ambitions ranging from the mundane to the grand, and even sometimes the nefarious. Join a panel of scholars and practitioners for a retrospective on the first 100 years of zoning. + John Ellis / Mithun + Louise Mozingo / UC Berkeley...
Feb
22
Wed
Oakland

The Importance of Art and Creative Placemaking in Oakland

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
In September, Mayor Libby Schaaf hired Roberto Bedoya to serve as Oakland’s first cultural affairs manager. Since then, he has been undertaking a new cultural plan for the city, one that will include strategies to prevent artists and arts organizations from being priced out. Join us for a conversation about the intersection between people, arts, culture and place in Oakland today and how Oakland can continue to remain one of the most culturally engaged cities in the country. + Roberto...
Feb
23
Thu
Oakland

Race, Equity and the Future of Oakland

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In October 2016, Oakland launched the Department of Race and Equity, structured to help residents understand systemic racial disparities while working to change existing systems in order to make life in Oakland fair and just for everyone. Join us for a conversation with Darlene Flynn, the director of this new department, to understand how Oakland is attempting to create a city where racial disparities have been eliminated and social equity achieved, and the hurdles that this progress faces. + Darlene...
Feb
23
Thu
San Francisco

Scaled-Up Sustainability

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Over the past few years, several existing and future neighborhoods across San Francisco have been working to amplify livability and environmental performance through innovative neighborhood-scale strategies. Hear how places like Chinatown, Central SoMa and Mission Rock are setting ambitious goals and moving beyond the standard building-by-building approaches in order to attain them. + Cindy Wu / Chinatown Community Development Center + Lisa Fisher / San Francisco Planning Department + Fran Weld / San Francisco Giants + Claire Bonham-Carter / AECOM, EcoDistricts.org
Feb
27
Mon
Oakland

Oakland and Prosperity for All: Oakland Newcomers Speak

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Oakland has always attracted newcomers who find themselves drawn to the city’s thriving scenes and whose involvement has reshaped the city for future residents. A recent influx, one that includes tech, is also looking to leave its mark on Oakland, but Oaklanders have expressed concern about how much the city could, and should, change in the face of this new wave of residents. Join us for this second installment in a new series, as newer arrivals discuss how their work...
If you are interested in participating in any SPUR meetings, seminars, conferences, programs and/or walking tours and require auxiliary aids or services for your disability (e.g., qualified interpreter, qualified reader, written materials, taped texts), please submit your request to SPUR at least five (5) business days in advance of the SPUR event by contacting the Public Programming team at publicprograms@spur.org or 415-781-8726 x132. SPUR will work with you in identifying effective auxiliary aids or services that it can provide. If you need to cancel your request, please notify SPUR at least two (2) business days in advance. SPUR reserves the right to deny specific requests for qualified interpreters or qualified readers to individuals who repeatedly submit requests for auxiliary aids/services and fail to cancel at least two (2) business days in advance.​

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