• The Urbanist

    Selected articles from our magazine
Issue 560
September 2017 to October 2017

Homelessness in the Bay Area

Solving the problem of homelessness is arguably our region’s greatest challenge.
The Bay Area has one of the largest and least sheltered homeless populations in the country. Over the past year, the SPUR Board of Directors convened a study group to learn more about homelessness — both its causes and its possible solutions. Read More »

Urban Field Notes: Capturing Caltrain

A planner and photographer finds moments of beauty on his daily commute.
If you set a goal of taking and posting a photo every day, you’ll probably find yourself memorializing your commute a bit. If you get to work via Caltrain, you’ve got a great photographic subject. Read More »

Member Profile: Jocelyn Ross

A latecomer to urbanism leaves her “driving in the suburbs” mindset behind. 
Jocelyn Ross had never heard the term “urbanism” when she first moved to San Francisco five years ago. Now she's a full-fledged flaneur. Read More »
August 2017

The Permanent Housing Crisis

The housing shortage isn’t a new problem for the Bay Area, but it has changed in surprising ways over the decades. Here are our thoughts on how to tackle it.
Over the past 20 years, SPUR has had victories and losses. We’ve run ballot measures, developed reforms to the approval process, pushed for neighborhood plans. We need to do more. Read More »

Oakland Takes Steps to Address Its Housing Challenges

Nearly 3,000 homes are under construction in Oakland. There is more to be done but SPUR is impressed with the city’s progress.
The 2016 Oakland at Home report recommended strategies for addressing the city’s housing shortage. Here’s an update. Read More »

How to Make San Francisco Friendly to Families

The most effective way to counter the pull of the suburbs may be to build on the strong urban amenities San Francisco already possesses.
San Francisco has the lowest percentage of households with children among the 12 largest American cities. Why are families leaving and what can the city do to keep them? Read More »

Member Profile: Vu-Bang Nguyen

Vu-Bang Nguyen is working to insure that Silicon Valley's growth benefits everyone.
Vu-Bang Nguyen works with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to benefit people most impacted by income inequality, transit accessibility and housing affordability. Read More »
Issue 558
June 2017 to July 2017

A License to Build

How Does Seattle Grow? By Connecting Conservation and Infill
In May, SPUR visited Seattle to learn how it is making such great progress on housing, infrastructure and transportation. Here’s what we learned... Read More »

Small Buildings: Big Impact

Seattle proves you can grow without going tall.
Seattle is building way more housing per square mile than San Francisco and is spending less money doing so. Read More »

Seattle's Big Vision for Transit

The Puget Sound region asked voters for a lot — and got it
A bold new transit package will feature 62 new miles of light rail, an extension of commuter rail, and an array of other bus and transit projects. Read More »

Member Profile: Tyra Fennell

Tyra Fennell uses art, music and performance to bring communities together.
Tyra Fennell is founding director of Imprint.City, an organization that seeks to activate industrial, underutilized spaces with both performing and visual arts to encourage community and economic development. We spoke this spring with Tyra about her hopes and fears for the city she calls home. Read More »

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