Sustainable Development

Our goal: Reduce our ecological footprint and prepare for climate change.


SPUR Report Monday, April 23, 2012 Urban agriculture has captured the imagination of San Franciscans in recent years. But the city won't realize all the benefits of this growing interest unless it provides more land, more resources and better institutional support.
Blog Thursday, April 5, 2012

On March 9, 2012, San Francisco issued its first zoning permit for “neighborhood urban agriculture.”  The change of use permit, given to Little City Gardens, allows the small urban farming business to grow produce for sale at its three-quarter-acre market garden in the Mission Terrace neighborhood.

Blog Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Let’s say you’ve got a great jam recipe. Or perhaps you make some mean pickles.  Your friends keep telling you that you should quit your day job and follow your culinary passion. But unless you’ve got quite a bit of savings or other access to capital, following your friends’ advice is a pricey proposition.

Blog Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two sites owned by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in San Francisco moved closer to becoming urban agriculture projects this week.

Blog Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Can you make a living selling what you grow in a city?

That’s a question a number of urban farming entrepreneurs have been working to answer in the past few years, and initial numbers are beginning to become public.


Our priorities for Sustainable Development


Our water and wastewater systems are aging and in need of repair and reinvestment. Reliability of these lifelines is essential to the future of the City's environment and economy. We can rebuild them in a way that more sustainably manages resources than we have in the past.


San Francisco has many options to achieve greenhouse gas reductions from major emissions sources: energy, waste, land use and transportation. The City has set an aggressive target for reductions, and a cost-effective approach will help us reach it most efficiently.


The concept of waste is not a sustainable one. To the extent possible, we should maximize the use of resources and prevent them from becoming wastes. This means diverting waste from landfills, composting organics, and putting rainwater to use instead of letting it flow into the sewer system.


San Francisco now has some of the greenest codes for new construction in the country. To reduce our carbon footprint and meet our climate change goals, we need to retrofit existing buildings to conserve resources. Conveniently, energy efficiency--and renewable energy over the long term--is usually a cost-saving investment for building owners. People just need to know what to do and how to do it.

Sustainable Development Updates

To get regular updates on sustainable development activities contact SPUR Sustainable Development Policy Director Laura Tam at