San Francisco

The Dynamic Relationship Between Universities and Cities

In-Person Forum

Business Member Event


Title slide for The Dynamic Relationship Between Universities and Cities
This event is for SPUR business members and invited guests. Please contact Jackie Curran at [email protected] for information on how your organization can get involved and support our work.

Educational institutions, with their extensive assets and resources, play a crucial role in local economies. These institutions are deeply embedded in their communities through real estate, student and faculty bodies, and community-focused missions. This stability enables them to foster innovative partnerships and significantly enhance economic opportunities for students, their families, and the wider community.

Join SPUR for an engaging discussion on the pivotal role of universities in shaping urban environments, focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities in densely populated cities like San Francisco.

Our distinguished panel includes experts from UCSF, UC Law, Gensler, and the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development. They will delve into critical issues such as strategies for universities to address housing shortages and affordability, collaborative approaches between universities and cities, and ways universities can work with local communities to foster workforce development. We will explore how universities drive economic growth within urban settings and how cities can enhance the educational missions of these institutions.

Panelists will share insights on the built environment of universities, their role as anchor institutions, and how new university development can catalyze urban revitalization in downtown cores.

Doors open at 11:30 am for coffee and light bites. The event will begin at 12:00 pm.



  • Moderator: Annie Fryman, Director of Special Projects, SPUR
  • Sandy Mendler, AIA, Principal, Education Practice Leader, Gensler
  • David Seward, Chief Financial Officer, UC Law
  • Wylie Liu, Executive Director, UCSF Anchor Institution Mission
  • Laurel Arvanitidis, Director of Business Development, OEWD


Refund Policy

Sponsorship payments: Will not be refunded, as sponsorship benefits take effect immediately and are on-going through the date of the event.

Auxiliary Services

If, in order to participate in a SPUR event, you need auxiliary aids or services for a disability (e.g., qualified interpreter, qualified reader, written materials, taped texts) please submit your request five business days before the event to [email protected] or 415-781-8726 x132. SPUR will work with you in identifying effective auxiliary aids or services that it can provide. If you need to cancel your request, please notify SPUR at least two business days before the event.