• News

    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

2017 Good Government Awards: How the S.F. Benefits Net Team Streamlined Social Good

April 4, 2017
The 2017 Good Government Awards, Held on March 22, recognized outstanding performances by Managers Working for the City and County of San Francisco. The Ceremony Honored the S.F. Net Benefits Team for integrating t he city’s CalFresh and MediCal programs into a streamlined, one-stop service delivery model that provides nearly one in four San Franciscans with nutrition assistance and low-cost health coverage.

Who Benefits From Oakland’s “Community Benefits” Negotiations?

March 27, 2017 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
With new construction heating up in Oakland, local groups are asking developers to pay for “community benefits” beyond what the city requires. But as Uber backs away from its plans for downtown, Oaklanders should beware that pushing too hard may lose the city the most important community benefit of all: the long-term increase in tax rolls that the city desperately needs.

Friendship and Five Other Principles for Designing a New Bay Area Transit Map

March 23, 2017 By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
The Bay Area has more than two dozen public transit operators, but few people use more than one service — and many don’t use them at all. Getting more people onto buses and trains will mean making it easier for potential riders to understand what services are available. A new partnership is looking at how a user-friendly regional transit map might help bridge the gap.

The Downfall of the Mall, the Triumph of the City and the Birth of Something in Between

March 2, 2017 By Joshua Brett, San Jose Policy Intern, and Laura Tolkoff, San Jose Policy Director
The popularity of Santana Row reflects a renewed interest in urban places — and places that feel urban. As midcentury shopping malls fail across the country, many are being transformed into “lifestyle centers" that integrate entertainment, dining, public spaces and even housing. At a recent SPUR forum, UC Berkeley's Chris Calott explored the origins — and future — of Santana Row and other lifestyle centers.

Can San Francisco Grow Without Gridlock?

February 24, 2017 By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
How do you keep people moving and avoid gridlock in a city that’s poised to add 190,000 jobs and 100,000 households over the next 25 years? For San Francisco, solving this problem is not a thought experiment — it’s reality. To address this issue, the city is enlisting developers in making sure their new projects don’t add up to thousands more car trips.

Inclusionary Housing: A Good Tool but Let’s Wield It Carefully

February 23, 2017 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
How much affordable housing should San Francisco require market-rate developers to build? A new study offers recommendations, and city supervisors will soon vote on a permanent requirement. The question they’ll face next is whether to stand by recommendations grounded in technical analysis or yield to political pressures to approve a higher requirement that sounds good but could backfire.

What We Will Lose If the Census Stops Gathering Racial Data We Can Map

February 22, 2017 By Sarah Jo Szambelan, Research Manager
In January, two new laws were introduced in Congress to limit public information on the racial makeup of communities and the race of those struggling to afford housing. These proposals could impact how the U.S. Census collects data. In effect, they would blot out our ability to measure institutional racism — or track our progress to reverse it.

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