Sustainable Development

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


Blog Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Benjamin Grant, SPUR's Urban Design Policy Director, spoke with Sea Change Radio's host Alex Wise about the Ocean Beach Master Plan, and how it could serve as a template for other coastal cities.

White Paper Wednesday, April 29, 2015

San Francisco is poised to channel significant new investment to integrated urban watershed planning and green infrastructure through a planning process called the Urban Watershed Assessment. In partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, SPUR convened an advisory group to ask: What is needed to scale up green infrastructure in San Francisco?

Market Match being used at a farmers' market.  Courtesy of the Ecology Center.
Blog Monday, April 6, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just gave a big shot in the arm to healthy food incentive programs. On April 1, the agency announced $31 million in grants to groups large and small — including three recipients in California — that provide matching dollars to low-income families who use their food assistance benefits to buy fruits and vegetables.

Policy Letter Friday, April 3, 2015

SPUR supports Assembly Bill 1321, proposed by Assemblymember Phil Ting that creates the administrative framework within the California Department of Food and Agriculture for expansion of healthy food incentives at farmers' markets statewide and pilot projects at grocery stores.

Blog Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area lost two longtime leaders this month, Frank Dean and Nancy Hornor, both of whom were instrumental in the development of the Ocean Beach Master Plan. Congratulations to them both on their well-deserved retirement.


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