Sustainable Development

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


Article Monday, February 1, 2010 San Francisco's 72 percent waste diversion rate is the product of aggressive state and local policy, a fruitful public-private partnership, and a sustained investment in outreach and public engagement. Although we are setting the nation's leading example, there's still more we can do.
Blog Friday, December 18, 2009

A paper this week in what is arguably the world's most prestigious scientific journal, Nature, says that the last time the Earth warmed up as much as it will under climate change, sea levels rose about 8 meters. This means that global sea level rise over the coming decades may be about twice as worse as we thought.

Blog Friday, November 20, 2009

Windfall for All coverStudy after study has shown that cities prioritize development that lets visitors and residents walk, bicycle, or take public transit to get around, people are healthier and have far less negative

Blog Monday, November 16, 2009

This Wednesday, join the Alaska Conservation Foundation for an evening with National Geographic photographer James Balog. Mr. Balog, an award wininng photographer for over 25 years, will share his groundbreaking work to capture the reality of climate change by photographing the world’s shrinking glaciers. Through time-lapse footage, Mr.


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