Sustainable Development

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

Publications

Blog Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One of the biggest challenges urban farmers face is access to land. Signed into law on September 28, the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act — introduced by Assembly Member Phil Ting and supported by more than 25 organizations across the state — will increase the use of privately owned, vacant land for urban agriculture and improve land security for urban ag projects.

Policy Letter Tuesday, September 3, 2013 SPUR strongly supports efforts to conserve water and to use alternative supplies for appropriate, nonpotable uses. This effort to expand a successful voluntary onsite reuse program to allow nonpotable water systems to be shared between two or more parcels will effectively expand this successful program to the district scale. Establishing a clear process for district-scale water reuse today will help the city lay the groundwork for the the sustainable infrastructure and eco-districts of tomorrow.
Blog Thursday, August 8, 2013

The word “infrastructure” connotes things like pipes, conduits, steel and concrete, but when it comes to solving urban water management challenges, there are a growing number of solutions that are equally engineered yet more nature-based. While “grey” or traditional infrastructure remains an essential part of safe and effective design for flood control and urban watershed management, it is no longer the only tool in the toolbox.

Policy Letter Wednesday, July 24, 2013

As we detail in our recent report, Locally Nourished, many people in the city do not have access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy options near their homes. SPUR supports the Healthy Food Retailer Ordinance, which would increase access to fresh, healthy food to residents citywide.

Blog Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has given the green light for the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) to take the lead coordinating the city’s support of urban agriculture. Among SPUR's recommended priorities for this program are developing a strategy to reduce community garden waiting lists and operating as a "one-stop-shop" for the people seeking assistance with urban agriculture projects.

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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.