Sustainable Development

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


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.

Policy Letter Monday, July 8, 2013

One of the biggest obstacles to expanding the number of Californians who enjoy the benefits of urban agriculture is access to land. SPUR strongly encourages state legislators to support Assembly Bill 551, an "opt-in" measure which would allow counties to create "urban agriculture incentive zones," offering a conservative approach to nurturing emergent urban agriculture projects across the state. 

Policy Letter Friday, July 5, 2013 The first year of the new urban agriculture program provides a unique chance to truly expand the city’s internal coordination and general support for urban gardeners and farmers. During recent public meetings, the department expressed interest in receiving recommendations from community organizations regarding how the new program should prioritize its efforts. With this in mind, SPUR offers six recommendations for how the program can be most successful from its inception.
Policy Letter Friday, July 5, 2013

SPUR supports the resolution that would create a new program dedicated to urban agriculture within the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD). The RPD has land, resources and staff that can support the new program in a way unavailable to other departments and understands that the mission of this new program is to coordinate with other agencies and community groups, rather than replace them.


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--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