Sustainable Development

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

Publications

Blog Tuesday, April 22, 2014

As California grapples with one of its worst droughts in recorded history, many in the Bay Area are wondering what should be done to ensure that we have sufficient water. Luckily, water agencies in our region are already leading the way on innovative approaches to reduce demand by fostering water conservation and efficiency. Here's what's working.

Article Thursday, April 10, 2014

Climate change is not just a problem of the distant future — it's happening now. Our task, then, is contradictory: We need to fight it even as we to learn to live with it. But can we act decisively enough to avert catastrophe?

Article Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dozens of efforts are underway in the Bay Area to assess vulnerability to sea level rise, map critical infrastructure, plan to reduce emissions, restore wetlands and work across local government functions to knit together a plan of action. Here are just a few of the many of these efforts that stand out.

Policy Letter Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The San Francisco Public Utilties Commission has proposed a four-year rate structure that would finance three critical priorities for San Francisco and the Bay Area: the completion of the Water System Improvement Program, the beginning stages of the Sewer System Improvement Program, and maintenance and repair costs for current operations. SPUR supports the new structure, which would begin in July 2014. 

Blog Monday, April 7, 2014

Across California, communities have started food policy councils so that local advocates for food producers and consumers can work together to improve the food system. Earlier this year, a coalition of these groups published an analysis of legislators’ voting records on 10 different food and agriculture bills.

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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.