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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

A Vision for the Future of School Meals in SF

December 2, 2013 By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
San Francisco’s school meals could look quite a bit different in the coming years. That’s the overarching theme of a report that the San Francisco Unified School District released in September, laying out a long-term vision for the future of the district's school meals program, which currently serves 22,000 lunches and 5,500 breakfasts each day.

Nimble Ways to Remake City Streets

November 13, 2013 By Michael King and Jeffrey Tumlin
Streets are different than highways, yet the United States delegates authority for all roadway design to a private nonprofit made up largely of highway engineers. And unfortunately, many of the principles that make for safe highways make for dangerous, dysfunctional urban streets. But a new manual released this fall, the Urban Street Design Guide , could change all this.

Seeking Prosperity: Middle-Wage Job Opportunities in the Bay Area

November 5, 2013 By Egon Terplan and Imron Bhatti
A little over one-third of the Bay Area workforce earns $18 per hour or less . Given the high cost of living in the Bay Area, it’s important to move many of these workers to higher paying jobs. This posts looks at what these jobs are, how many of them there will be in the coming years, and the skills and education levels they require.

2013 Silver SPUR: How Tom Layton Takes Philanthropy a Step Further

October 30, 2013
Thomas C. Layton has been a dedicated philanthropic leader, seeding and supporting positive social change for almost four decades. As the president of The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation since 1975, Layton has built a track record of innovative and risk-taking grant-making that has served some of the Bay Area's most esteemed leaders, movements and institutions in their nascent stages. His leadership in the philanthropic community, encouraging foundations to courageously support the policy and advocacy work of their grantees, has made him one of the most respected leaders in the field. Prior to joining to the foundation, he was a business executive and, later, the vice president and national director of the Coro Foundation. Learn about our other 2013 Silver SPUR honorees: How Dan Solomon Reimagines Urban Neighborhoods >> How Chief Judge Karen Clopton Brings Transparency to Government >> How Art Torres Speaks for the Disadvantaged >>

2013 Silver SPUR: How Dan Solomon Reimagines Urban Neighborhoods

October 30, 2013
Daniel Solomon, FAIA is an architect and urban designer whose career combines professional practice with teaching and writing. His commitment to the construction and reconstruction of urban neighborhoods extends beyond his renowned project work; he is a co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism and a passionate spokesman for the cause of the city. Solomon’s work as a partner in the Mithun | Solomon San Francisco office — including the LEED Platinum David Brower Center in Berkeley and the redevelopment of San Francisco’s Hunters View neighborhood — exemplify his commitment to the evolution of community design. He is professor emeritus at UC Berkeley and Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, and has published many articles and three books. Learn about our other 2013 Silver SPUR honorees: How Art Torres Speaks for the Disadvantaged >> How Chief Judge Karen Clopton Brings Transparency to Government >> How Tom Layton...

2013 Silver SPUR: How Karen Clopton Brings Transparency to Government

October 30, 2013
Chief Judge Karen V. Clopton has been promoting active public discourse, integrity and transparency in government for more than two decades. As the chief administrative law judge for the California Public Utilities Commission, she has made its crucial regulatory work more accessible to the public and more efficient.

2013 Silver SPUR: How Senator Art Torres Speaks for the Disadvantaged

October 30, 2013
Senator Art Torres (Ret.), J.D. has been a life-long public servant and advocate for civil rights, healthcare, stem cell research and environmental justice. In a career spanning more than three decades, he has distinguished himself by tackling complex policy issues that affect all California residents. Sen. Torres has leadership roles in two core institutions serving the Bay Area: He is president of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and vice chair of the governing Board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He served 20 years in the California Legislature, both in the State Assembly and State Senate. Involved in many crucial bipartisan initiatives, he was co-author of the groundbreaking California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). Learn about our other 2013 Silver SPUR honorees: How Chief Judge Karen Clopton Brings Transparency to Government >> How Dan Solomon Reimagines Urban Neighborhoods >> How Tom Layton...

Seeking Prosperity: What Prevents Access to Middle-Income Jobs?

October 29, 2013 By Tomiquia Moss, Community Planning Director
Many middle-income jobs have been lost since the economic meltdown and the competition for the jobs that remain leave low- and moderate-wage workers competing with people who have more experience and education. In this post, we focus on specific barriers affecting low- and moderate-wage workers.

Go Geary! New Momentum for Bus Rapid Transit

October 29, 2013 By Peter Lauterborn
Stalled for years in environmental review and public uncertainty, the project to build bus rapid transit on Geary Boulevard is gaining momentum, with new designs and a new target opening date. Bus rapid transit, or BRT, could provide a 30 percent decrease in travel times while providing a smoother ride. Modeled to resemble the comforts of rail transit, BRT provides many of the same benefits of light rail but at one-tenth of the cost. Features include dedicated traffic lanes, large waiting platforms and stations, prepaid boarding and modern vehicles. Voters mandated BRT on Geary with the passage of the Proposition K sales tax in 2003. The project is managed by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority under the guidance of a Citizens’ Advisory Committee . The improvements are much needed. The 38-Geary is the most used bus route west of the Mississippi, with more than 55,000 riders a day. The...

What's Next for Housing in SF?

October 29, 2013 By Sarah Karlinsky and Alyssa Kies
After a grueling recession and a long period of underbuilding, construction is making a vigorous comeback in San Francisco: The SF Planning Department reports more than 6,000 new units under construction. The backlash, however, comes in the form of rising rents— exacerbating unaffordability in what was already one of the country's least affordable cities.

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