Sustainable Development

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

Publications

Article Monday, May 13, 2013

The Bay Area’s food system supports our greenbelt, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and helps reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The region has an opportunity to capture more of these benefits.

Policy Letter Monday, May 6, 2013 By removing existing barriers to small-scale fresh food retail operations, proposed amendments to San Jose's Title 20 ordinance would help the city move one step closer to its 2040 General Plan goal of increasing access to healthful food for all residents. SPUR supports these amendments as a modest, balanced approach to improving fresh food options throughout the city.
Blog Monday, May 6, 2013

Over the last year, there’s been palpable buzz in San Francisco around eco-districts — sustainability plans that operate at the neighborhood scale. After studying models in Portland, Seattle, Brooklyn and Denver, the city has kicked off a planning process for its first eco-district. The project will target the Central Corridor, the 24-square-block area south of Market Street currently undergoing a neighborhood planning and rezoning process.

Blog Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Of the many food and agriculture bills California legislators have introduced this year, three stand out for their potential impact on the Bay Area’s food system: a tax incentive to promote the use of private land for urban agriculture; a change to CEQA to require agricultural land preservation for certain projects; and a statewide sugary-beverage tax. Here’s a closer look at these bills, which we will be tracking this year.
 

SPUR Report Monday, March 18, 2013

More than two-thirds of the Bay Area’s water is imported from outside the region. Today these supplies are regularly threatened by drought, earthquakes and water quality impairments — risks that will intensify with climate change. Meanwhile, our region will add 2 million more people by 2040 — growth that will require more water. Do we have the water we need to support this projected growth?

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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.