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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Celebrating 2014: A Special Message From SPUR

December 3, 2014
2014 has been a great year for urbanism. Now is a perfect time to take stock of all we accomplished, with your support. We hope you will consider making a contribution to SPUR at this year end. Here’s what we'll be working on in the new year — and how you can help.

How Commuter Benefits Can Shift the Bay Area to a More Sustainable Future

November 25, 2014 By Erin McAuliff
More than half of commuters in the Bay Area drive alone to work every day . Similar to most regions, transportation in the Bay Area is the largest source of pollution and the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. But some real progress is being made through local commuter incentives, and now a new program will take them region wide .
Yes on D Sign from Berkeley

Why Did Berkeley Pass a Soda Tax and Not San Francisco?

November 25, 2014 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
This election, for the first time ever, a majority of voters in two American cities supported taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. Berkeley voters passed their measure, while San Francisco's measure, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, fell short. The results raise the question: why did Berkeley’s measure do so much better than San Francisco’s? A number of factors were at play.

2014 Silver SPUR Awards: How Leslie Tang Schilling Champions Small Business

November 24, 2014
Leslie is a co-founder of the successful Union Square Investment Company with her husband, Alexander H. Schilling. She has been active in many civic and advisory groups that aid small business owners and woman- and Asian-owned businesses, most notably the Asian Business League of San Francisco, the San Francisco Economic Development Corp. and the State of California Small Business Advisory Board.

2014 Silver SPUR: How Clothilde Hewlett Inspires Civic Leadership

November 24, 2014
Clothilde Hewlett is an attorney who has achieved an incredible breadth of accomplishments during a career that has spanned statewide policy roles in government, law enforcement and criminal justice. Now, as a public policy attorney with Nossaman LLP, she facilitates public-private partnerships in transportation, infrastructure, clean technology and real estate.

2014 Silver SPUR: How Michael Painter Re-Envisions Urban Design

November 24, 2014
Michael Painter is owner/president of MPA Design and has offered design development strategies and solutions for award-winning projects since 1969. Over MPA Design’s 45-year history, his urban designs have won accolades from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Architects, UC Berkeley’s Department of Landscape Architecture and the Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society.

2014 Silver SPUR: How Ron and Barbara Kaufman Advocate for San Francisco

November 24, 2014
Ron Kaufman worked for half a century to preserve the historic character of one of San Francisco's oldest neighborhoods, the Old North Waterfront. He has been a vital force in the business and philanthropic community. Barbara Kaufman hosted Call for Action, a top-rated consumer advocacy radio show on KCBS-AM. This role led her to win a citywide seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Bay Area Voters Approve Smart Growth, Reject Sprawl

November 12, 2014 By Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
From a regional perspective, there’s one pretty clear outcome of the recent election: Smart growth and infill development won at the ballot box. Across half a dozen measures, Bay Area voters rejected NIMBY-led downzoning, approved height increases in their downtowns, reaffirmed urban growth boundaries and voted against sprawl development.

Knight Challenge Grant Supports Urban Transformation in San Jose

November 10, 2014 By Jennifer Warburg, Special Projects Manager
Knight Foundation’s support for SPUR’s new office in San Jose — a $1.775 million challenge grant over five years — will help catalyze the civic conversation around the city’s urban future. The funding provides a runway as SPUR builds capacity to be the leading civic partner for the City of San Jose as it undertakes the most ambitious growth plan of any American city.

Urbanism Wins in the Bay Area

November 10, 2014 By Gabriel Metcalf, President
Regardless of what happened at the national level, our local elections were full of good news for urbanism. Ballot measures that passed in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland marked major victories for transit, open space and higher minimum wages across the region.

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