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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Climate Week Injects New Energy Into Climate Action

October 9, 2014 By Jennifer Warburg, Special Projects Manager
Last week’s UN Climate Summit saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, 125 heads of state and hundreds of business leaders converge on New York City for the most encouraging movement on climate action in years. For a movement that often stalls out in pessimism and fatigue, these events represented a surprising shift of tone — and a few reasons for hope.
Good. To Go. Banner at Emit Mini Mart in San Jose

A New Option for Healthy Food in San Jose

October 6, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
Fresh food is coming to dozens of corner stores in San Jose as part of a new “Good. To Go.” initiative that launched this September. Organized by the Health Trust and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley, the program aims to increase San Jose residents’ access to healthier food by improving the options available at smaller retailers.

How Will California Tackle Climate Change After Meeting Its 2020 Goals?

October 1, 2014 By Flavio Coppola
California’s landmark environmental bill AB 32 mandated a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The policies it set in place have worked, and the state is on track to meet its goal. But what happens after 2020? With this target date less than six years away, it’s time to set a new objective for continued success in reducing emissions.

Quick Guide to SPUR's SF Ballot Recommendations

October 1, 2014
It's election season and time for SPUR's in-depth analysis of local San Francisco ballot measures. Don't want to wade through our 30-page voter guide? Check out this quick summary of all our recommendations. For those who do want to nerd out, don't worry — we've included links to our complete analysis.

Urban Farming Is Not Making the Housing Crisis Worse

September 9, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
A recent article in the Atlantic argues that San Francisco’s new urban agriculture property tax incentive will only exacerbate the problem of limited housing supply in an already overheated housing market. We share the author's concern about housing affordability, but his critique of this policy, which SPUR worked to pass, misses the mark.

Inspiration From Helsinki: Car-Free Living That Really Works

August 27, 2014 By Libby Nachman and Ratna Amin
Is the transportation always greener on the other side of the fence? Helsinki, Finland, recently announced a plan for a transit system that would make car ownership a thing of the past within the next 10 years. SPUR examines how the Bay Area could take inspiration from this integrated, single-payment, mobility-on-demand system.

The Risky Business Project Takes on Economic Impacts of Climate Change

August 7, 2014 By Libby Nachman
How can we get past stagnant partisan arguments about climate change and begin looking at its impact on economic planning and investment? Kate Gordon of Next Generation presented this question at a SPUR lunchtime forum on the Risky Business Project, a nonpartisan effort to quantify and publicize the economic risks from climate change impacts.

SPUR Endorses Santa Clara County Open Space Measure

August 6, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
This November, Santa Clara County residents will vote on a tax measure that would significantly expand efforts to preserve and protect open space areas. This measure aligns with a number of SPUR’s goals. For Santa Clara County voters, we recommend a “yes” vote on the open space funding measure.

Are We in an Affordability Crisis or a Housing Bubble?

August 6, 2014 By Benjamin Schneider
No one in San Francisco is arguing about whether real estate is expensive. There is, however, some debate about how to characterize the astronomical prices. Now that median home values have returned to pre-recession highs, some are compelled to ask: Are we in another housing bubble? Real estate experts Jed Kolko and Tim Cornwell spoke to this question at a recent SPUR forum.

SF Approves California’s First Tax Incentive for Urban Ag

August 5, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has passed California’s first urban agriculture incentive zone. The new law allows a tax break for SF property owners who dedicate their land to agricultural use for at least five years. The final legislation included a few important amendments.

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