By Jaclyn Tidwell, San Jose Policy Director
From Copenhagen to Los Angeles, cities are finding new ways to address their interconnected health, climate, congestion, equity and economic challenges through innovative thinking about public spaces. At November’s San Jose Public Life Summit , urbanist and public design advocate Gil Peñalosa challenged leaders and residents in San Jose to move forward with ambitious projects that support sustainable mobility, vibrant public spaces and civic engagement.
By Gabriel Metcalf, SPUR President
The Bay Area has become a central player in the story of our country. First because we are coming up with the innovations that are disrupting the economy and people’s lives. Second because we represent an alternative path, a model of progressive urbanism. Our task is to make that model really work — and we're not as far away as we might think.
Abdi Soltani is a nationally recognized civil rights leader whose work with the ACLU of Northern California has helped transform California into one of the nation's most progressive states. With his leadership, the ACLU has cultivated partnerships with communities most directly impacted by injustice, and developed a presence in the Central Valley and in Sacramento.
As principals of ROMA Design group, Boris Dramov and Bonnie Fisher have championed an urban design consciousness that stresses the integration of architecture and landscape architecture. Dramov and Fisher have had an unparalleled impact on the revitalization of San Francisco’s waterfront, from Fisherman’s Wharf to China Basin.
2017 Silver SPUR Awards: How Dr. Nadine Burke Harris Is Transforming Response to Early Childhood Adversity
Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris is a leader in the movement to transform how we respond to early childhood adversity and stress. She serves as an expert advisor on the Too Small to Fail initiative and on the American Academy of Pediatrics National Advisory Board for Screening. Her book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity will be released in January of 2018.
Steve Nakajo is a civic leader and longtime champion of San Francisco’s Japanese American community. In 1971, he co-founded (with Sandy Mori) Kimochi, Inc., a successful community-based nonprofit, to bring social services to non-English-speaking seniors of Japantown. A longtime instructor in the Asian American Studies and MSW programs at San Francisco State University, Nakajo served on the the City’s Fire Commission and the Arts Commission.
By Kathryn Exon Smith, San Jose Program Associate
San Jose’s proposed Environmental Sustainability Plan will go a step beyond California’s ambitious climate goals with a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with the 2016 Paris Accords. In becoming the first American city to develop a “Paris compliant” pathway, San Jose aims to lead the way among cities in reducing climate impacts.
By Sarah Karlinsky, Senior Policy Advisor, and Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
City planner, former SPUR Board member and long-time SPUR volunteer George Williams passed away on November 7. The deputy director of San Francisco’s Department of City Planning for 20 years, he was instrumental in creating San Francisco’s 1985 Downtown Plan. We will greatly miss George, and we’re grateful for his years of service to SPUR and to the City of San Francisco.
By Teresa Alvarado and Laura Tolkoff
This summer, SPUR and the Knight Foundation took a delegation of South Bay elected officials and transit agency leaders to visit high-speed rail stations in the Netherlands and France. The trip was a quest for precedents as San Jose prepares to remake Diridon Station into one of the nation’s first high-speed rail hubs. Nine takeaways emerged from the trip as critical considerations for San Jose.
By Mori Wallner, SPUR Intern
Experts agree that the Bay Area is due for a major earthquake by the year 2050. In the event of such a disaster, Oakland and other cities will need to respond to both immediate and long-term challenges. At a recent SPUR forum, panelists talked about their work addressing uncertainty and mitigating seismic hazards in Oakland.