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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

A Cleaner Future for the Bay Area’s Energy (and Air)

June 2, 2015 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
In the field of climate change policy, you might think the State of California —arguably home of the world’s most robust policies to reduce greenhouse gases — has got everything covered. And, you’re mostly right. But there’s much more we can do. A new report highlights three ways we can significantly clean up our air by making cleaner energy choices.

An Up Market Brings Housing, but Not Jobs, to Downtown San Jose

May 7, 2015 By Egon Terplan and Laura Tolkoff
2014 was the hottest recent year for real estate in downtown San Jose. Hundreds of residential units broke ground in new apartment towers, with several thousand more approved. While high-density housing in the transit-rich downtown is great, the city also needs to keep in mind the long-term availability of land for jobs — specifically sites that can accommodate large office buildings near future BART stations.

Could Mountain View’s Endorsement Jumpstart Silicon Valley BRT?

April 30, 2015 By Dylan Pilaar
Silicon Valley’s El Camino Real caters almost exclusively to private automobiles, but a recent decision from the Mountain View City Council may shift the boulevard’s car-first status quo. Last week, city leaders voted 3-2 in support of dedicated lanes for the El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit project.

Why Do Transit Systems So Often Ignore Design?

April 23, 2015 By Dylan Pilaar
Great design can transform and enhance any user experience. Why, then, is thoughtful design often ignored within our transit systems? SPUR recently held a day of workshops and presentations, sponsored by TransitCenter, to explore the future of design and public transportation.

Muni’s New Map Takes a Step Toward Seamless Transit

April 9, 2015 By Allison Arieff, SPUR Editorial Director
This month, San Francisco will introduce a new transit map designed to give riders more information at a glance. First exhibited at SPUR in 2014 as part of our exhibition Urban Cartography , the new Muni map makes the complex web of San Francisco’s 82 municipal transit lines far easier to use and understand.
Market Match being used at a farmers' market.  Courtesy of the Ecology Center.

Healthy Food Incentive Programs Get a Big Boost from Uncle Sam

April 6, 2015 By Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
The U.S. Department of Agriculture just gave a big shot in the arm to healthy food incentive programs. On April 1, the agency announced $31 million in grants to groups large and small — including three recipients in California — that provide matching dollars to low-income families who use their food assistance benefits to buy fruits and vegetables.

The Long-Awaited Transformation of SF’s Southeast Waterfront

March 25, 2015 By Jennifer Warburg and Benjamin Grant
The Blue Greenway project proposes a 13-mile continuous open space and waterway network along San Francisco's southeastern waterfront. The idea has enormous support, but it has yet to overcome some hurdles, namely a geography that encompasses dozens of sites with dozens of owners. To address these complications, SPUR, the San Francisco Parks Alliance and others partners have kicked off the Blue Greenway Action Plan.

Bay Area Vs. Drought: How Are We Doing?

March 19, 2015 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
Headlines are sounding the alarm that California might have only one year of water left. How are water suppliers in the Bay Area responding to our state’s worsening drought? This week SPUR invited a few of the region’s principal water managers to share the outlook from their parts of the Bay Area.

2015 Good Government Awards: Jimmy Chiu's SFO Runway Safety Program

March 17, 2015
Jimmy Chiu , Airport Infrastructure Program Director, led both design and construction efforts for the successful implementation of FAA-required runway safety areas at San Francisco International Airport ( SFO ). Chiu worked to build consensus among the FAA, airlines and airport operations staff to ensure the project would be completed by the December 2015 federal deadline.

2015 Good Government Awards: Paula Kehoe's Water Supply Diversification Programs

March 17, 2015
Paula Kehoe oversees pivotal water conservation and water resource diversification programs for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission . With California’s severe drought conditions, the work of the Water Resource Division, led by Kehoe , is particularly critical. Kehoe directed the development of new strategies for water supply diversification through non-potable supplies.

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