Sustainable Development

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


Blog Monday, July 12, 2010

W Hotel 1W hotel 2

[Photo Credit: Timothea Tway]

Policy Letter Monday, June 28, 2010 SPUR supports the plastic bag ban for three reasons. First, it will encourage people to use a truly reusable bag instead of a one-time, throwaway product by allowing retailers to charge a small fee for paper bags. Second it is revenue neutral because implementation and enforcement will be covered by a new fee. Finally, plastic bags are wasteful and environmentally damaging from cradle to grave.
Blog Monday, April 5, 2010

SPUR is co-hosting with the AIA a lunchtime lecture on bottom-up sustainability practices in India.  “Grass roots green” refers to the design approaches in India and other developing countries, which look to innovatively use traditional common-sense methods, knowledge and approaches to minimize consumption.  Speakers Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri, cofounders of the Indian design firm, Abhikram, will sha

Article Monday, March 1, 2010

Since 1934 San Francisco has relied on the Tuolumne River in Yosemite for almost all of its water. But to protect the health of the river and establish a more resilient water source in times of drought and disaster, the city is introducing the use of recycled and groundwater and furthering conservation efforts.

Blog Wednesday, February 24, 2010

imageClimate change is a global problem, and the San Francisco Bay Area is especially threatened. Around one thousand miles of shoreline frame the region, so we will be greatly affected by sea level rise and intensified storm activity.


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