Sustainable Development

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


Policy Letter Tuesday, June 19, 2012 The new ordinance will allow for design, permitting and installation of systems that capture, treat and reuse water generated on site for non-potable uses. Onsite treatment systems can save significant amounts of water -- between 20-75 percent of potable water in mixed use and commercial buildings -- and contribute to the city's water conservation goals, which SPUR strongly supports.
Blog Thursday, June 14, 2012

San Francisco may soon have a new urban agriculture program. On June 11, the Land Use and Economic Development Committee of the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation introduced earlier by Supervisor David Chiu that seeks to increase the coordination, efficacy and breadth of city support for urban agriculture.

Policy Letter Friday, June 8, 2012 Urban Ag Legislation
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.


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