Goal: Implement high-efficiency energy, water and materials flows into and out of our cities to reduce our ecological footprint.
BlogMonday, July 12, 2010
Policy LetterMonday, June 28, 2010Letter supporting AB 1998 as a necessary step in California’s zero waste goals
BlogTuesday, April 6, 2010
BlogMonday, April 5, 2010
ArticleThursday, April 1, 2010Our vision for a San Francisco and a Bay Area at its best, and the steps we should take to get there
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 projects
We are working to promote and facilitate the widespread use of green building and energy efficiency practices in new construction and existing structures. SPUR supported the sweeping green building ordinance covering most new buildings and large alterations that went into effect in November 2008. SPUR has also developed a cohesive green building strategy for existing buildings.
In 2004, San Francisco adopted a Climate Action Plan which set an emissions benchmark of 20% below 1990 levels by 2012. In 2008, the San Francisco Foundation funded SPUR to add rigor to the urban global warming agenda by developing a plan for responding to climate change in San Francisco. We estimated the costs and benefits of over 40 potential interventions into the city's carbon metabolism, and provided recommendations for the City to cost-effectively reduce emissions here and throughout the region. We are also members of ClimatePlan, a coalition focused on promoting land use policies and public investment in California to achieve state greenhouse gas emission reductions targets.
Rebuilding wastewater and water system infrastructure
SPUR has long championed integrated stormwater management and sewer system improvements. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has embarked on a major capital project to upgrade San Francisco's sewer system, a project we are monitoring and advocating for. The SFPUC has also begun the Water System Improvement Program to seismically retrofit and provide supply upgrades to the regional water system, which carries water from the Sierras to the Bay area. SPUR has a strong history of support for the Tuolumne River, the system upgrade, and the $1.6 billion water bond passed by San Francisco voters in 2002.
An energy policy for San Francisco
SPUR is participating in creating a roadmap to San Francisco's energy future. We participated in two taskforces seeking to increase renewable energy production in the city. The Solar Task Force concluded its work in 2008 with the successful launch of a solar rebate program, GoSolarSF. The rebate program will stimulate additional solar installations in the city beyond what state and federal incentives would have created, and it also supports local businesses and a green jobs program. Our participation in the Urban Wind Power Taskforce is ongoing. Last year we opposed the SFPUC's proposal to install and operate "peaker" combustion turbine power plants in southeast San Francisco. Our analysis revealed the City can likely meet reliability needs with projects such as the transbay cable, renewable energy, conservation and demand management—and also can propose a new, greener energy plan to the state.
Sustainable Development Updates
To get regular updates on sustainable development activities contact SPUR Sustainable Development Policy Director Laura Tam at firstname.lastname@example.org.