Sustainable Development

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

Publications

Article Monday, September 1, 2008 In this paper, we explore the idea of reducing taxes on good things — economic growth and job creation — and replacing them with taxes on bad things, or environmentally harmful activities.
SPUR Report Monday, September 1, 2008 The Bay Area has been a hotbed of innovation since the 1970s. Today it is also one of the leading places for cleantech firms. What role will San Francisco play in the emergence of this new segment of the economy?
Article Thursday, May 1, 2008 The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is finalizing its sewer system plan. SPUR recommends a system that is quite different than the old one. This is our chance to update our approach to managing rainwater.
Policy Letter Wednesday, January 16, 2008 The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s proposed contract with J-Power to operate “peaker” combustion turbine power plants in southeast San Francisco is a harmful and short-sighted solution to local energy production and reliability. Peakers are expensive and polluting, and the southeast neighborhoods have long borne the brunt of the city’s environmental health hazards. San Francisco can meet reliability goals through new cable projects, energy efficiency and demand management. We urge the Board of Supervisors to reject peakers and the contract.
SPUR Report Tuesday, November 7, 2006 Instead of wasting stormwater, the City could manage it as a resource. SPUR explores four strategies that allow for greater stormwater storage and infiltration of rainwater into the ground.

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Our priorities for Sustainable Development

REBUILDING VITAL INFRASTRUCTURE

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.

REDUCING GLOBAL WARMING EMISSIONS

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.

BENEFICIALLY REUSING "WASTE"

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.

GREENING THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

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--iis 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 ltam@spur.org.