By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
Last week San Jose became the latest Bay Area city to update its in-law unit ordinances to better serve the need for housing solutions. Once illegal in many cities, this simple way to add more housing — create an additional unit in the backyard, basement, attic or garage — has become a welcome tool in the fight to make urban housing affordable.
By Egon Terplan, Regional Planning Director
The latest update to Plan Bay Area is now underway — and its findings have revealed some troubling flaws in the planning tools we have for managing our region’s biggest challenges: making housing affordable and maintaining our transportation infrastructure. Now that these issues have been made apparent, it’s time to ask what we should be doing differently.
Regardless of what our nation’s new leadership will mean for the issues SPUR works on, here in the Bay Area we are moving ahead, taking dramatic steps to make the world better. SPUR is tackling the big issues our cities face, from fighting climate change to putting economic prosperity in everyone's reach — but we can't do it without your help.
The late Rose Pak championed San Francisco’s Asian-American community for more than four decades. Her life work of building the community’s social, cultural and political influence empowered and gave voice to Chinese-Americans in San Francisco politics. Among her legacies are the many neighborhood nonprofits which prospered through her support, as well as the Central Subway station.
Mark Buell is the president of the Recreation and Parks Commission and chair of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Buell has sought to ensure Bay Area parkland remains accessible and protected for future generations. His legacies include the $35 million restoration of Crissy Field, the Muir Woods Visitor Center and Cavallo Point.
Ira S. Hirschfield is the longtime head of the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, supporting causes that embody fairness, equality and opportunity for all. He is one of four individuals recognized at the 2016 Silver SPUR Awards, held on November 17, for his achievements which have made San Francisco and the Bay Area a better place to live and work.
2016 Silver SPUR honoree Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in 2011, with the mission to bridge the digital divide and change how we educate girls of color about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Under Bryant's leadership, the organization has expanded to include 11 chapters in the U.S. and 1 in Johannesburg, South Africa; serving more than 6,000 girls.
By Susannah Parsons
This election, Bay Area voters chose to make critical investments in transportation, infrastructure and affordable housing. And in San Francisco they rejected a series of harmful measures that would have undone years of good government reforms.
By Gabriel Metcalf, SPUR President
The presidential vote was about many things, but it was in part a protest against what the Bay Area stands for. Our embrace of diversity. Our high taxes and social programs. Our willingness to challenge traditional norms of gender. Our love of cities. What do those values mean — and what should we be doing to support them going forward?
By Arielle Fleisher, Transportation Policy Associate
The strategic plan just released by Oakland’s new Department of Transportation reflects the city’s activist spirit and opens a new chapter focused on easier and safer access to walking, biking and transit — for everyone. Here are five priorities in the plan that we think will make the biggest difference for Oakland’s transportation future, along with suggestions for how make sure this vision is realized.