San Francisco

Safe Enough to Stay

What will it take for San Franciscans to live safely in their homes after an earthquake?

Damaged residences, Northridge Earthquake. Image courtesy of Jonathan Nourok.

When a major earthquake strikes the Bay Area, the lives of San Franciscans will be enormously disrupted, and it could take months to reestablish essential services. San Francisco has a limited number of emergency-shelter beds, and its capacity to provide interim housing after an earthquake is constrained due to low vacancy rates and minimal vacant land. Estimates show that only 75 percent of the city’s current housing stock will provide adequate shelter for residents after a large earthquake. This means San Francisco is at risk of losing its most important asset: its people.

We believe the city should take steps now to ensure that most of its residents can “shelter in place” — i.e., stay in their own homes while they are being repaired — after a major earthquake. Our research indicates that for San Francisco to avoid a slow and arduous recovery, 95 percent of its housing must be able to meet shelter-in-place standards.

During this exhibition, the SPUR Urban Center gallery will be transformed to a post-earthquake state. See what damages an earthquake might cause and discover what materials you would need to survive as you shelter in place in a San Francisco studio apartment. The exhibition will also feature a simulation of a neighborhood emergency center, which would provide essential services and information for residents who remain in their homes. Learn about SPUR’s recommendations to help San Francisco achieve shelter in place standards and become a truly resilient city.

The exhibition focuses on what steps can be taken now to ensure that homes are safe to occupy after an earthquake strikes. And what will it will take to make sure our housing is Safe Enough to Stay.

The Safe Enough to Stay exhibition is generously sponsored by ULI San Francisco.




SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
Phone: 415.781.8726


This exhibition is free to the public.