January 2020

Jan
22
Wed
San Francisco

Housing Reform: Fixing the Bugs and Rebooting the System

Special Program
5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
When it comes to housing reform, we have seen major reboots to housing policies and programs over the past few years. Despite major progress, are we focusing too much on "fixing the bugs" and not achieving critical updates to the underlying system? This panel will dive deep into how statewide legislation has changed the housing landscape since 2017, what has been the impact on the ground from landmark housing bills like SB 35, and what to expect in 2020. This event is part of ULI SF's Housing the Bay Initiative. Presented by ULI San Francisco.
Jan
23
Thu
San Jose

Plumed Serpent and Art as Civic Discourse

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In 1994, Plumed Serpent, artist Robert Graham’s sculpture of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, was installed in downtown San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez. In the 25 years since, the artwork has become a lightning rod for civic discourse. To some, it is a beautiful homage to Mexican culture, while others debate its artistic merit, religious symbolism, cost and more. Because art gleans meaning from viewers’ perceptions, it has the potential to be all of these things at once. However, some of the narratives are more flawed than others, which is why Plumed Serpent’s story bears investigation. Join us as we examine the democratization of art in a pluralistic community and the role of art as a catalyst of public dialogue.
Jan
23
Thu
San Francisco

Providing Urban Park Access to Everyone

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
A large and growing body of research makes it clear that access to parks improves health and quality of life. Recent research sponsored by the California State Parks Foundation indicates that our 280 state parks, including many of the Bay Area’s best-loved open spaces, are a largely untapped resource to meet some of the state’s loftiest policy goals. What barriers to accessing parks currently exist and how can we ensure positive park experiences for new visitors in order to inspire a sense of ownership and familiarity? Co-presented by the California State Parks Foundation.
Jan
28
Tue
San Francisco

Floods and Fires and Earthquakes, Oh My!

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Faced with the inevitable effects of climate change and a looming risk of earthquakes, our growing region needs to grow more safely. Safety First, SPUR’s new white paper and a part of our comprehensive, forward-looking Regional Strategy initiative, recommends ways to improve our homes, infrastructure, land use planning process, funding and more in order to secure regional resilience in the nine-county Bay Area.
Jan
28
Tue
Oakland

City Trivia Night XVII

Young Urbanists 6:00 p.m.
The much-loved City Trivia Night is back at SPUR! Six themed rounds of searing questions relating to cities, architecture, urban planning and policy make this event the ultimate showcase of urbanist talent and planning geekery. Bring your own team of six or join up with other urbanists at the event to compete for the crown and prizes.
Jan
30
Thu
San Francisco

A Revelatory Idea in Housing

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
More attention has been paid recently to the development potential of church parking lots, with some cities relaxing development standards to facilitate the construction of affordable housing on religious properties. Using statewide data, the Terner Center has examined how much land could actually be opened up for development through these reforms and where this land is located. This work has implications for scaling these ideas statewide as part of a broader solution for facilitating more housing to meet our needs. Join us as we discuss the results of this research and hear from stakeholders who are building and guiding housing on religious property. Co-presented by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.
Jan
30
Thu
San Jose

Villas on the Park

Tour 4:00 p.m.
The first step to helping those who are experiencing homelessness is giving them a home. Villas on the Park, a brand new permanent supportive housing project located just north of St. James Park in downtown San Jose, has been designed to provide 83 units paired with support services for this very purpose. Offering both permanent and interim homes, the project has been designed to build a sense of community to help residents live more stable, productive lives. Come tour the building, hear how this important project was built and learn how it can be a model for future projects region-wide.

February 2020

Feb
2
Sun
San Francisco

SF Urban Film Fest 2020

Special Program
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
SPUR is proud to co-present the sixth annual SF Urban Film Fest, a weeklong festival of planning and urban design as portrayed on video. For schedules, tickets, locations, and more information, please visit sfurbanfilmfest.com. Presented by the SF Urban Film Fest.
Feb
4
Tue
Oakland

The Bay Bridge's New Public Park

Tour 12:30 p.m.
The new Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline, operated by the East Bay Regional Parks District, is a jewel at the foot of the Bay Bridge. The 45-acre park, a distinctive recreational space that will join the power and beauty of the new span of the Bay Bridge to the fascinating natural, industrial and transportation history of the East Bay, is capped by a public access platform that provides scenic views of the harbor, Yerba Buena Island and San Francisco beyond. Join us for a rare chance to see a new urban green space in the making by touring the new public access platform before it opens to the public later in the year.
Feb
5
Wed
Oakland

Planning Transit-Only Lanes in Oakland

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In cities around the country, buses slog through traffic in the same lanes that are shared by cars and other vehicles. The resulting transit systems can be slow, unreliable and, most of all, inefficient. The obvious idea, then, is to give buses their own lane. But what happens when cities do that? Join us to talk about the strategies, plans and challenges faced by transit-only lanes in Oakland.
Feb
5
Wed
San Jose

RESCHEDULED: Small Farms, Big Potential

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Small farms provide the lifeblood of much of our region’s food system, providing amazing produce, meat and dairy to wholesale buyers, restaurants, farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture boxes. But these farms, some of which are mere acres in size, are threatened by encroaching development, especially in Santa Clara County. A new report by the Santa Clara County Food System Alliance, Small Farms, Big Potential, offers an in-depth look at small-scale agriculture viability in the South Bay. Come hear more about their findings and what you can do in support.
Feb
6
Thu
San Jose

Preparing for an Aging Silicon Valley

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Popular culture often shows Silicon Valley as a mecca for young adults, but the region is also home to a considerable proportion of older adults, especially those on the cusp of retiring. Colloquially known as the “silver tsunami,” this wave of new retirees may have massive effects on the economy and land use of the South Bay. But will this population even remain in the Bay Area? If they leave, how will the housing market be impacted by their vacated homes? What ramifications will this shift have on the health care industry? Come explore these questions and more. Co-presented by AARP and Kaiser Permanente.
Feb
11
Tue
San Jose

Do You Want to Build a Better Bike Plan?

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The City of San Jose’s Better Bike Plan 2025 proposes a transformational low-stress bike network stretching more than 500 miles across the city. But the only way that such a project can succeed is with your input and guidance. In this interactive workshop, help us shape the city’s bicycle investment priorities for the next five years as we build a seamless bike plan for the San Jose of tomorrow.
Feb
11
Tue
San Francisco

Where Will All the New Housing Go?

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The Bay Area's regional agencies recently launched their process to determine where future housing should be accommodated across the region. Due to recent changes in state law, Southern California's own regional agency had to plan for three times more housing than it had to include in its last planning cycle. Here in the Bay Area, we're likely to face a similar challenge in the coming year. Join us to hear more about Southern California's experience and how some local experts are approaching the process. Co-presented by Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and California YIMBY.
Feb
12
Wed
San Francisco

Designing a More Efficient Government

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
To many, government and inefficiency seem to go hand in hand. The institutional morass that many encounter when faced with bureaucratic processes can leave much to be desired, but San Francisco’s City Performance Lean Program seeks to solve that by shaping agencies that are more efficient and friendly for citizens. Already in use by numerous city departments, the program helps employees own changes and more easily tackle complex governmental problems. Come learn more about this key step in making a government that works better for everyone.
Feb
12
Wed
San Francisco

Reenvisioning the Planning Commission

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Planning commissions across the country advise elected officials and municipal departments on the appropriate growth and development of their cities. But complaints about these bodies and the processes that they undertake can be extensive — from regularly scheduled hearings that are all but inaccessible to the public due to location and timing, to politically appointed commissioners not accurately representing the city whose growth they oversee. How could the planning commission process be improved? Join us for a series of rapid-fire presentations about the tweaks, evolutions and transformations that planning commissions could undertake to better suit the needs of today’s cities and their residents. Co-presented by YIMBY Action and the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition.
Feb
13
Thu
San Francisco

A Hub of Good Urbanism

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
“The Hub,” an amendment to the now decade-old Market Octavia Plan, will head for approval in early 2020. This new effort strategically increases some building heights in the area, generating additional affordable housing, transportation investments and public realm improvements for this critical area at the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness. Come learn more about the plan and how it promises to reshape the neighborhood for the better.
Feb
14
Fri
Oakland

A New Life for SB 50

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Senate Bill 50 — the major legislative effort that would eliminate restrictive zoning along major transit lines and job centers, thus paving the way for denser, more transit-friendly housing development across the state — became stymied in Sacramento before a vote could occur. But with the concerns surrounding California’s housing crisis as pertinent as ever, the bill is returning to the state legislature in 2020 with new life. Join us to hear more about the bill’s difficult path and get an update on its current status.
Feb
18
Tue
San Francisco

Building Small Multifamily Housing in SF

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
An exciting conversation about supporting “the missing middle” through the elimination of single-family zoning has emerged nationwide. But what kind of multifamily buildings should be built in place of single-family homes? As part of the Housing Affordability Strategy work currently underway, San Francisco is studying its existing small-multifamily-housing stock to understand what works, what doesn’t and how the city might continue to create this housing in the future. What are the market, economic, design and zoning barriers that currently exist, and what can be done to overcome them?
Feb
18
Tue
Oakland

Reconnecting Old Oakland to City Hall

Special Program
12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Old Oakland was once of the heart of downtown Oakland, but over time the district lost its prominence as shops and businesses moved north of 14th Street. Over the past decade, however, the neighborhood has experienced a resurgence — shops and restaurants have moved back to the neighborhood, historic buildings have been repurposed and new housing has been built. What might the next decade hold for this notable district? Join us for an interactive, three-hour workshop as we explore the future of Old Oakland. Co-presented by AIA East Bay.
Feb
19
Wed
San Francisco

The Embarcadero Enhancement Project

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
After years of advocacy and planning, a new physically protected, two-way bikeway is being designed on the water side of the Embarcadero. The project will not only result in a safer place to ride but will also reduce conflicts with pedestrians on the existing shared-use promenade. But what about the interactions with pedestrians at loading zones and intersections? And how can the bikeway encourage safety while still being inviting for a variety of users? Come learn about emerging best practices for the design and accessibility of these types of bikeways and how they are being integrated into plans for the Embarcadero.
Feb
20
Thu
San Francisco

High-Speed Rail's New Draft Business Plan

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is required to prepare, publish, adopt and submit a business plan to the state legislature every two years. These plans provide updates and outlines for California’s eagerly anticipated new rail project, including milestones, forecasts and funding sources. Come learn about the 2020 updated business plan and the progress that’s been made since 2018 toward achieving the vision of fast rail service throughout California.
Feb
20
Thu
San Francisco

The Post-Retail City

Special Program
2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Planners have long accepted that ground-floor retail is critical to an active and healthy street life. But what happens when we’re faced with an evolution in retail shopping, including a decline in traditional retail stores? A new advanced research studio at California College of the Arts (CCA) is utilizing the abundance of retail vacancies to critique deeply held assumptions, speculate on alternative futures for the “post-retail street” and catalyze a radical rethinking of what the ground floor of the city could be. Join a cross section of urban actors and thinkers in an interactive workshop to examine the future of ground-floor commercial space after the so-called retail apocalypse. Co-presented by CCA.
Feb
20
Thu
Oakland

The Nature of Space and Place in Our City

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Though at first glance the connection between environmental psychology and urban planning may not be apparent, a deeper look into their relationship shows vast overlaps. Both are interdisciplinary fields that rely on a mélange of sciences in an attempt to solve the problems that exist in the environments around us. Join two experts in these fields, the authors of the books The Shaping of Us and The Help-Yourself City, as they discuss the nature of space and place and how looking at our cities with this dual lens can enable us to better understand our interactions with the built environment and our neighbors who live within it.
Feb
25
Tue
San Jose

City Trivia Night 14

Young Urbanists 6:00 p.m.
The much-loved City Trivia Night is back at SPUR! Six themed rounds of searing questions relating to cities, architecture, urban planning and policy make this event the ultimate showcase of urbanist talent and planning geekery. Bring your own team of six or join up with other urbanists at the event to compete for the crown and prizes.
Feb
26
Wed
San Jose

Small Farms, Big Potential

12:30 p.m.
Small farms provide the lifeblood of much of our region’s food system, providing amazing produce, meat and dairy to wholesale buyers, restaurants, farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture boxes. But these farms, some of which are mere acres in size, are threatened by encroaching development, especially in Santa Clara County. A new report by the Santa Clara County Food System Alliance, Small Farms, Big Potential, offers an in-depth look at small-scale agriculture viability in the South Bay. Come hear more about their findings and what you can do in support.
Feb
27
Thu
San Jose

Vision Zero San Jose

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
After Swedish Parliament passed the original “Vision Zero” policy in 1997 the country began to rethink how its residents travel, believing that loss of life was not an acceptable price to pay for mobility. In the more than 20 years since, they’ve seen vehicle-related fatalities plummet and the policy adopted by cities around the world. San Jose adopted Vision Zero in 2015 beginning its own initiative to eliminate deaths and severe injuries on our roadways. Five years later, how effective as the process been and where does it goes from here?

March 2020

Mar
4
Wed
San Francisco

2020 San Francisco Good Government Awards

SF Good Government Awards 5:30 p.m.
For the past 40 years, the Good Government Awards have recognized outstanding job performance by those serving the City and County of San Francisco. This is a unique opportunity to acknowledge the city's top managers for their leadership, vision and ability to make a difference in city government and the community at large.    SAVE THE DATE GOOD GOVERNMENT AWARDS 2020 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2020
Mar
20
Fri
San Jose

SPUR Impact Awards

SPUR Impact Awards 11:30 a.m.
The SPUR Impact Awards acknowledge outstanding impact by public sector employees in city and county government in Santa Clara County. The awards honor those who are making a difference in government and the community at large in the areas of housing, transportation, placemaking and urban design, and sustainability and resilience.
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 publicprograms@spur.org 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.

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