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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Little Rain and Less Certainty for California Agriculture

March 2, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
Despite the inches of rain that fell in February, California’s farmers and ranchers are still facing a severe drought. Mother Jones magazine recently published an infographic that clearly illustrates the link between the lack of rain and the state’s agricultural economy. What it conveys is that this is going to be a hard year for farmers and ranchers in California, with nationwide ripple effects.

Forecasting San Francisco’s Economic Fortunes

February 27, 2014 By Jennifer Warburg, Special Projects Manager
Earlier this month, San Francisco’s leading economists met to predict the future. Each year, SPUR’s Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee brings together city staff and independent economic experts from sectors including real estate, hospitality and retail. This year’s Annual Economic Briefing illuminated several key economic trends impacting the city this year.

Tech Campuses as Cities: The Solution to the Housing Crisis?

February 21, 2014 By Benjamin Grant, Public Realm and Urban Design Program Manager
Why not address the Bay Area’s housing crisis — caused by a surge of new jobs without an equivalent increase in new housing — at its source? Alfred Twu’s fantastical renderings imagine Silicon Valley corporate campuses like Google, Apple and Facebook as complete cities, their parking lots packed with enough housing to accommodate their entire workforces.

Can SF Take Down I-280? The City Studies the Feasibility of a Bold Idea

February 20, 2014 By Ratna Amin, Transportation Policy Director
A few billion dollars of transportation projects are converging in San Francisco: the electrification of Caltrain, the extension of Caltrain’s route to the Transbay Transit Center and the arrival of high-speed rail. How can we make sure these transportation investments improve San Francisco's urban environment rather than disrupt it? To find out, the city is launching a major study .

2014 Winter Member Drive: Join SPUR for $50!

January 30, 2014
We are launching a one-week membership drive with a goal of 100 new members. We're offering a special introductory annual rate of $50 — a 33 percent discount. We'll also be raffling off prizes all week, so make sure you're following us on Twitter for the latest updates.

10 Pilot Projects to Boost the Bay Area Economy

January 30, 2014 By Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
From President Obama’s State of the Union speech to local policy initiatives, there’s been a lot of attention lately on wage inequality and the shrinking middle class. As part of a major SPUR initiative, a group of Bay Area pilot projects will tackle these issues head on.
Canned goods being delivered at a food bank

Ending Hunger in San Francisco by 2020

January 28, 2014 By Molly Schmidt and Eli Zigas
While San Francisco is a city that celebrates food, it's also home to many who struggle to get three complete meals a day. Between 100,000 and 225,000 residents have incomes that put them at risk of food insecurity. Two new reports show that even with collaboration among government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, there are still many hurdles to overcome in addressing food insecurity.

Tools to Fight Drought

January 15, 2014 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
2013 was one of the driest years on record, and 2014 is not off to a great start either. As we head into a third dry year, water conservation is more important than ever — and so is preparing for future uncertainty in our water supply by investing in reliable, sustainable supplies, as recommended in SPUR's report Future-Proof Water.

Lease Deals Point to Positive Signs for Downtown San Jose

December 11, 2013 By María Gabriela Huertas Díaz
Two big lease deals in downtown San Jose indicate that the city center’s underappreciated assets may be proving attractive to those seeking more urban workplaces in Silicon Valley. Why did these two tenants choose downtown over other nearby competitors? Four reasons: access to transit, urban amenities, real estate costs and a responsive government.

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