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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Managing Urban Fires

April 4, 2018 By Andy Bosselman
Before the arrival of cities, what is now the Western United States burned regularly — and urbanization added fuel to this fire-based ecology. Advances in firefighting and building codes made fires less perilous, until recently. At a recent SPUR forum, panelists Charles Scawthorn, of the University of California and Ron Vidal, a fire safety consultant, discussed the history and changing challenges of urban fires.
Cans of soda

How Should San Francisco Spend Its Soda Tax Revenue?

April 2, 2018 By Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
San Francisco began collecting its soda tax at the start of 2018. As revenue begins coming into the city’s treasury, the question now facing the Mayor and Board of Supervisors is: How to best spend this newly available money?

California High-Speed Rail: Under Construction and Moving Forward

March 28, 2018 By Andy Bosselman, Nicole Soultanov and Egon Terplan
In early March, the California High-Speed Rail Authority released its draft 2018 business plan, which outlines key milestones ahead and updates forecasts for costs, service levels and ridership. The plan has some important changes, including a revised funding and delivery schedule of the first operating segment, which will service in the Bay Area and Central Valley as soon as 2027.

The Encampment Resolution Team Pioneered SF's Navigation Centers 

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored the Encampment Resolution Team, which designed and built the Waterfront Navigation Center in the Dogpatch neighborhood, creating a model for cities such as Seattle and Berkeley.

Jesus Mora Improves SF's Emergency Response Systems

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Jesus Mora, whose leadership improved the delivery of the city’s emergency response systems.

Kelly Cornell Helped Create a Long-Term Plan for SF's Urban Forests

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Kelly Cornell, the Chief Urban Forester of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, who set San Francisco on course for a long-term tree-management plan unachieved by any other major city.

Sonali Bose Oversees Billions to Help SFMTA Innovate 

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored Sonoli Bose for her deep knowledge of city government, her strategic vision and her ability to forge successful interagency partnerships as SFMTA's revenues grew significantly.

The Dahlia Housing Portal Transformed How San Franciscans Find Affordable Housing

March 27, 2018
The 2018 Good Government Awards, held on March 21, recognized outstanding job performance of those serving the City and County of San Francisco. The ceremony honored the DAHLIA Housing Portal team who created a centralized listing for affordable housing in the city, replacing a cumbersome paper-based process that created confusion and distrust among prospective applicants.

Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative: Vote No in June

March 7, 2018 By Teresa Alvarado, San Jose Director, and Jaclyn Tidwell, San Jose Policy Director
This June, voters in San Jose will consider the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative, a ballot measure that would approve a plan to build 900 housing units for seniors on a 200-acre parcel in the Evergreen area. The measure would create significant exemptions from the priorities laid out in the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan and weaken inclusionary housing requirements. SPUR recommends voting "no."

Parking + Placemaking = San Pedro Squared

March 7, 2018 By Alyssa Kies, Chief of Staff
San Jose’s San Pedro Square is a one-sided retail and entertainment strip. Bars and restaurants line the west side of the street, but the main feature on the east side is a monolithic parking garage. In 2014, SPUR suggested making the first row of parking on the ground floor available for pop-up uses like food trucks and retail. The idea is now becoming a reality.

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