Sustainable Development

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

Publications

Blog Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seven city agencies spent nearly a million dollars supporting urban agriculture projects in San Francisco in 2010-2011. Yet there is no single staff person responsible for coordinating that funding, nor any overarching goals for how the money is used. Urban agriculture legislation introduced on April 24 by Supervisor David Chiu, however, would change that.

SPUR Report Monday, May 21, 2012

As climate-induced sea level rise sets in, erosion at San Francisco's Ocean Beach will continue to worsen. Working with government agencies, community stakeholders and the public, SPUR has developed a landmark climate adaptation and open space plan to address issues at Ocean Beach. The plan recommends six key moves for managing a changing coastline, protecting critical sewer infrastructure and upgrading public access to the beach.

Blog Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite delivers water to 2.6 million Bay Area residents every day. This November, a group of environmental advocates will put forth a ballot measure that would require the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to develop a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy. But tearing down O’Shaughnessy Dam in order to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley would be a disaster. In fact this ballot measure is so problematic that SPUR has taken early action to oppose it.

Article Monday, May 14, 2012

Urban agriculture has captured the imagination of San Franciscans. The city can provide more land, resources and institutional support to better capture its benefits.

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.

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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.