Please note: All SPUR events are currently being held online.

Upcoming Events

June 2021

I+A Banner Image
Jun
21
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Opening Keynote with Dr. Robert Bullard: The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice

Special Program to
Climate change is very real. In 2020, the United State alone faced 22 climate-driven disasters that each caused more than $1 billion in damages. California saw its worst fire season in modern history. The arctic experienced an unprecedented low in total sea ice. And the year capped off the hottest decade on record. Unless the world acts in unison, this new normal will continue to exacerbate, causing incalculable economic and societal ramifications. What hope do we have? Kick off Ideas + Action 2021 with a call to action on climate change with one of the originators of environmental justice about what we can do to create a sustainable and equitable future for future generations.
Banner image for Living on the Edge: The Future of Coastal Cities
Jun
21
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Living on the Edge: The Future of Coastal Cities

Special Program to
From Miami to Lagos and London to Shanghai, some of the world’s most vibrant cities are situated on coastlines in jeopardy of being lost to sea level rise in the coming decades, putting hundreds of millions of people — many of whom live in vulnerable communities — at risk. What do we lose when these cities become inundated by rising waters, and what are the policies and technologies that should be considered to ensure we can preserve a future for everyone?
Banner image for The Youth Revolt
Jun
21
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — The Youth Revolt

Special Program to
Young people have long served as outspoken activists against the ills they see in the world, but their actions have only recently transcended international borders. The widespread adoption of social media has provided youth activists with a megaphone and a worldwide audience, enabling global exposure for topics like gun control, Black Lives Matter and, perhaps most influentially, climate change. Youth-driven climate action groups have arisen in nearly every country and resourcefully use social media and other tools to influence elected leaders around the world. Hear from a panel of young climate justice leaders as they discuss what is at stake for future generations.
Banner image for How to Talk About Climate Change So People Listen
Jun
21
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Workshop: How to Talk About Climate Change So People Listen

Special Program to
Timeworn advice recommends avoiding the topics of “politics”, “religion” and money in “conversation” and, in many places around the United States, “climate change” is on that list. And even though a majority of Americans now believe that the effects of climate change are real, convincing our neighbors to be proactive before disaster strikes can be a challenge. How can you or your organization talk about the climate crisis in a way that does not leave people despairing, but rather galvanized to take the big actions necessary to meaningfully address it? In this workshop, come learn the necessary skills and tactics — distilled from field experiments, evidence-based insights in social science and learnings from across the climate and clean energy advocacy community — to compellingly discuss climate change to motivate the public to take action. Limited space available!
Banner image for Woe for the WUI
Jun
22
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Woe for the WUI

Special Program to
Skyrocketing prices and a limited supply of homes are two of the biggest drivers that have pushed residents away from cities and further into the rural transition zones between human development and unoccupied land known as the wildland-urban interface or WUI. The natural vegetation of these areas, especially in combination with drought and inattentive land management, creates a tinderbox that can lead to catastrophic wildfires in places like the Western United States, Australia and elsewhere. What policies can be implemented to protect the tens of millions of homes that are at risk and minimize the impact of wildfire disasters?
Banner image for Putting a Price on Climate Risk
Jun
22
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Putting a Price on Climate Risk

Special Program to
Climate-related disasters have astronomical economic impacts that are felt from Main St. to Wall St. With the globe continuing to warm, we are certain to experience a greater annual concentration of these calamities — as well as ballooning price tags associated with them. How can we integrate climate science and data-driven market analysis into business decisions to reduce risks and build economic resilience in the face of a rapidly changing climate?
Banner image for the Next Act for Cap and Trade
Jun
22
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — The Next Act for Cap and Trade

Special Program to
California’s flagship program to reduce carbon pollution, cap and trade, has been successful at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it hasn’t reduced dangerous air pollution equally in all communities across the state. Can the cap and trade program become as equitable as it is efficient and be the tool that California needs to reduce emissions while maximizing benefits for low-income communities of color?
Banner image for The Promise and Pitfalls of Capturing Carbon
Jun
23
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — The Promise and Pitfalls of Capturing Carbon

Special Program to
Until recently, the idea of pulling carbon directly from the air seemed to be a pipe dream, but new technologies and legislation are bringing it to reality. Can advances in carbon capture prove it to be a lynchpin in a framework for our cleaner future, or is it more prudent to instead focus on reducing emissions, thus making the need for carbon capture moot? Learn more about how new practices and technologies may radically change how we think about pollution.
I+A 2021 Banner for Workshop: Using Climate Data to Plan for California’s Future
Jun
23
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Workshop: Using Climate Data to Plan for California’s Future

Special Program to
While it is impossible to predict when and where the next wildfire might spark, climate data will make it easier to understand projected climate risk and identify climate adaptation needs. Cal-Adapt, a new online climate database developed by the State of California, offers tools, data and other resources to help communities visualize and plan for how climate change might affect the state. In this interactive workshop, come explore what Cal-Adapt has to offer, learn how to use its Local Climate Snapshot tool for real-world applications and understand how you can apply this powerful resource to your own projects, including planning, development, agriculture, land preservation and much more. Limited space available!
Banner image for Roadways to a Sustainable Future
Jun
23
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Roadways to a Sustainable Future

Special Program to
Whether you envision the streets of our future cities as teeming with autonomous vehicles, electric cars, zero-emission transit, micro-mobility or a combination of all of the above, it’s become obvious that implementing affordable, accessible and clean transportation options for the first mile, last mile and everything in between is crucial to solving the climate crisis. But how do we accelerate towards widespread adoption of these new technologies without leaving anyone behind?
Banner image for Closing Keynote with Bill McKibben
Jun
23
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Ideas + Action 2021 — Closing Keynote with Bill McKibben

Special Program to
More than thirty years ago, Bill McKibben released The End of Nature, widely regarded as the first book on climate change written for a general audience. In the decades since, humanity has taken bold steps forward in shaping a more sustainable future — as well as some regretful steps backward. Where are we now in our fight against a rapidly changing climate and what should, and must, be done to shift mindsets, transform industries, influence governments and protect a recognizable future for ourselves and future generations?

July 2021

Train station in Merced, CA
Jul
6
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

How Can High-Speed Rail Benefit Small- and Mid-Sized Cities?

Lunchtime Forum to
Though California's high-speed rail system will connect the state’s major population centers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, most of the stations along the route will be located in small- and mid-sized cities, primarily throughout the Central Valley. While high-speed rail could be a boon for smaller cities, its success is not assured. Join us for a conversation about what we can learn from small- and mid-sized cities on high-speed rail corridors elsewhere in world to ensure that similar places here can fully benefit from California's major transportation investment.
Outdoor dining in Chinatown
Jul
7
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Innovative Food Entrepreneurship Drives Thriving Neighborhoods

Lunchtime Forum to
The COVID-19 pandemic caused irreparable damage to lives and livelihoods around the country, but in one rare bright spot, it also served to kickstart a new wave of innovative food entrepreneurship around the Bay Area. At the same time that many businesses were struggling, capabilities like pop-ups, al fresco dining and on-demand delivery allowed others to open their doors for the first time or pivot to meet the demands of the new status quo — as well as new customers. But will these innovations outlive the pandemic? Can they spur economic growth and community in the post-pandemic city, and will the rules and regulations that govern our cities keep up? Join us to hear directly from food entrepreneurs and public realm experts as we seek to answer these questions.
A street in Delft
Jul
14
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives

Special Program to
In 2019, mobility experts Melissa and Chris Bruntlett moved from Vancouver, BC to Delft in the Netherlands to document the benefits that result from a culture that deprioritizes the role of cars in cities. Their brand new book, Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives, helps decision makers and advocates better understand and communicate the human impacts of low-car cities, including lower anxiety and stress, increased independence, social autonomy, inclusion and improved overall wellbeing. Come hear how centering our cities around people, rather than cars, can result in whole and healthy communities — and the steps that our leaders need to take in order to create places that are age-friendly, connected, trusting, therapeutic, prosperous, resilient and more.
11th and Harrison, Oakland
Jul
16
Fri
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Radically Reimagining Housing in California

Lunchtime Forum to
The severity of California’s housing crisis calls for urgent political and community action. But the complexity of the crisis means that we can't just continue to undertake the same approaches that have been previously attempted — it instead requires a radical reimagining of the state’s entire housing ecosystem. Two recent reports, SPUR's Housing the Region and Housing California and California Housing Partnership's California’s Roadmap Home, seek to do exactly that. Together, these comprehensive plans advocate for a future where the housing crisis is not just mitigated, but resolved. Join the reports’ authors for a discussion about their recommendations and what must be done to implement them.
Highway widening
Jul
19
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Why Are We Still Widening Highways?

Lunchtime Forum to
Even today, many of our country’s transportation investments increase congestion, deepen inequality and worsen both local air pollution and our climate crisis. What do we need to do at the state, regional and local levels to make sure that our transportation spending aligns with our climate, equity and public health goals? What are the political barriers to making this happen? Join us to talk about the ongoing efforts and strategies being undertaken to focus transportation spending towards projects that can have a greater social, economic and environmental impact than simply adding another lane to a highway.
MacArthur BART station and surrounding developments
Jul
20
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

How Can We Deliver Equitable Transit-Oriented Developments?

Lunchtime Forum to
Transit-oriented development (TOD) in the Bay Area faces extraordinary opportunities, as well as equally extraordinary challenges. These current and future transit hubs have the potential to accommodate thousands of transit-accessible jobs and residents, but they also run the risk of creating immense instability and upheaval for the communities in which they're located unless affordability for all is a primary consideration. What lessons can we learn from TOD projects that are already completed or underway? What can best practices from elsewhere in the country teach us about how to produce transit-oriented developments that strengthen communities? Come learn about how we can create equitable TODs around the region.
E-scooters in the UK
Jul
26
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies

Special Program to
The new book, New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies, critically evaluates 12 developing transportation modes and services that are likely to significantly affect our lives, and provides practical guidance for optimizing them. As we accelerate towards a new mobility revolution, come learn how to make informed decisions about advocating and planning for these innovative ways to move.

August 2021

Rotterdam Centraal Station
Aug
3
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Strategies for More Successful High-Speed Rail Stations

Lunchtime Forum to
High-speed rail can be a powerful tool to connect and strengthen cities and towns, but it’s the stations themselves that connect people with the service. Rail stations are a passenger’s first point of contact with high-speed rail and a critical component of their door-to-door journey. How can California get its own stations right in order to build a foundation of broader success for high-speed rail? Come hear from a panel of international experts, with experience operating more than 3,000 stations in 400 cities worldwide, to learn about how international best practices can inform a strategy for managing and operating the stations along our state’s own high-speed rail corridor.
Buses stuck in traffic
Aug
4
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

What Will It Take to Prioritize Transit on Bay Area Corridors?

Lunchtime Forum to
As the pandemic is beginning to lift, Bay Area residents have begun returning to work and traveling more frequently in general, traffic congestion is returning with them — and in some cases it is even worse than before the pandemic. Putting more people in fewer vehicles is one solution to this gridlock, but we need to prioritize buses and other transit to more effectively cut through traffic. Without a regionally-coordinated plan, how can the Bay Area better support transit on busy roadways when their routes may cross the jurisdictions of multiple cities and more than a dozen different approval agencies? Hear from a panel of transportation experts about what it will take to coordinate successfully and accelerate transit priority throughout our region.
Car pulled over by a cop
Aug
5
Thu
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

A More Equitable Future for Traffic Tickets

Lunchtime Forum to
California gives out more than four million traffic tickets each year, the majority of which disproportionately fall on Black and Brown communities across the state. It also has the most expensive traffic tickets in the country, with the bulk cost of these tickets being driven by numerous fees on top of the base cost of the ticket. Failure to pay the full cost of a ticket can result in even greater penalties, including added fees, a suspended license and even a misdemeanor charge. For those that can afford a ticket, the impact is minimal, but for many individuals a single ticket can cause a downward spiral into economic insecurity. Come hear how we reached this unsustainable situation and what we can do to reach a more equitable and viable system for the long term.
Guadalupe River Park
Aug
10
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

The Future of the Guadalupe River is Just Around the Riverbend

Lunchtime Forum to
For the past two years, SPUR, in collaboration with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, has been undertaking a multi-phase study that plans for the future of the Guadalupe River Park, one of downtown San José’s most important, but underutilized, assets. Recent studies done as part of this effort have focused on both the river’s natural ecology and its current and potential economic impact. What was discovered during those analyses and, more importantly, how should the city leverage the abundant resources that the Guadalupe River Park offers? Join us for a discussion about the next steps that San José must take to realize the potential of the Guadalupe River and its surrounding areas as an urban amenity that is accessible to all.
Open street in SF
Aug
11
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Our City Streets After the Pandemic

Lunchtime Forum to
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about profound changes in the way we use public space. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on our streets, where the creation of a wave of parklets and “slow streets” have been juxtaposed with an increased reliance on individual driving over transit. What has the pandemic taught us about the primacy of cars on our city streets, and how can those lessons inform how we can utilize streets to best serve equity-priority communities and small businesses while encouraging walking, biking and transit use? Transportation leaders from Oakland, San Francisco and San José will discuss these questions and more in a conversation about the post-pandemic future for our cities’ streets.
California state capitol
Aug
12
Thu
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

State Legislation 101

Lunchtime Forum to
The process through which a policy idea must traverse to become California law can seem incredibly byzantine and sometimes opaque. Between the original drafting of the legislation and when it finally crosses the Governor’s desk, there are multiple points at which a bill can stall, die or be significantly amended. What are the keys to understanding this often circuitous process and what should advocates know and do to improve the chances that a bill will pass through it smoothly? Former State Senator Jim Beall will join us to talk about the lifecycle of a bill in the State Capitol and what it takes to get results.
Family dinner.
Aug
16
Mon
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Centering Food on People, Not Process

Lunchtime Forum to
Community-based organizations across the country are rethinking their approach to the design of food incentive programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — formerly known as food stamps. Rather than iterating in a vacuum of policymakers or basing revisions on metrics alone, organizations are turning to the individuals and households who rely on these programs to put food on their families' tables. These bi-directional engagements focus on the lived experience of those dealing with food insecurity to inform how these supplemental programs can better serve the people who use them, and ultimately, reach even more people in need of support. Join us to learn more about how organizations in California, Colorado and Washington, D.C. are building food incentive programs that center on what matters most: people.
Housing development in Oakland
Aug
19
Thu
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

How to Build Homes for the Middle Class

Lunchtime Forum to
It’s not news that California is deeply entrenched in a housing crisis, for which the only solution is building more homes. Beyond even where that housing should be built, for whom they should be built is a common topic of argument. There’s no question that significant numbers of homes must be produced for very low- and low-income residents. But the high construction costs in the San Francisco Bay Area are also pricing out moderate income people in the workforce. Without the guarantee of subsidies or financing like affordable housing tax credits or income from sky-high rents, how can middle-income home construction actually pencil out? Join us to learn what it takes to build for middle-income households, and how mixed-income developments can provide housing opportunities for residents across the wealth spectrum.
Protestors against racial discrimination
Aug
25
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Providing Fair Housing Across California

Lunchtime Forum to
Despite being banned more than a half-century ago, the impacts of redlining — the act of refusing mortgages in and around predominantly Black neighborhoods — are still felt today. Its use, in tandem with other discriminatory practices, dramatically reduced opportunities for upward mobility and contributed significantly to California’s vast inequities. Today, the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) seeks to “combat housing discrimination, eliminate racial bias, undo historic patterns of segregation, and lift barriers that restrict access in order to foster inclusive communities and achieve racial equity, fair housing choice, and opportunity for all Californians.” Come hear about the work of HCD's Fair Housing Division and how it is dismantling racist housing systems while promoting vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities for all Californians.
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.