Sustainable Development

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


Policy Letter Monday, December 13, 2010
Blog Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Over the last two years, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) has been working to amend its guidance document, the Bay Plan, to include new policies related to climate change and sea level rise. 

Policy Letter Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SPUR believes that it is possible both to encourage true urban infill development in the right locations and to meaningfully plan for sea level rise. We also believe some changes should be made to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s proposed amendments to the Bay Plan. 

Blog Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jarrett Walker of Human Transit has an intriguing post comparing transit ridership in American cities to those in Canada.

Blog Wednesday, October 20, 2010


[Photos: left: flickr user armstrks, right: via SF Chronicle]


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