September 2019

Sep
17
Tue
San Francisco

Electric Vehicles Are Charging Ahead

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
While not a panacea for transportation-related pollution, electric vehicles and fleets have an important role to play in reducing emissions. What infrastructure, planning and policy decisions will it take to make this mode of transportation more widespread and accessible? Come join us for a discussion about strategies and innovative approaches, as well as the potential challenges, to going all-electric.
Sep
18
Wed
San Francisco

POSTPONED: San Francisco’s Energy Destiny

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
From a changing climate to the PG&E bankruptcy, San Francisco is facing a new energy landscape and the city’s elected leaders are considering a shift to public power to stabilize costs, ensure reliability, increase local oversight and expand the city’s use of renewable energy. But can this approach work? What have other cities learned about public power and when should San Francisco take the next step?
Sep
18
Wed
San Jose

The Impact of San Jose's Growth Policies of the 1950s and 1960s

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
With over 180 square miles and more than a million residents, the San Jose that we know today is a vastly different municipality than it was in the middle of the last century. How did the city’s evolving governmental structure and the growth policies that were put in place between the 1940s and ’70s set the stage for one of the fastest-growing American cities of the last 50 years? Come learn how the actions of the past have led to San Jose’s current challenges around urbanization and densification.
Sep
19
Thu
San Francisco

What Urban Design Can Learn From Senior Design

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Senior and memory care facilities are often designed to be a comfortable facsimile of the real world—or at least the real world that their residents nostalgically recall. Why is it that these types of facilities are reliably more successful than other designs? Is it because they employ design to empathize with their users? Join us for a conversation about transposing the concepts learned from these facilities to urban design and explore how spatial recognition and comfort can contribute to better public spaces for all. Co-presented by Department of Here.
Sep
19
Thu
San Jose

The Changing Landscape of San Jose

Evening Forum 6:30 p.m.
San Jose is on the cusp of a massive evolution. With unprecedented growth in the downtown, urban villages rising everywhere, the redevelopment of Diridon Station creating a world-class transit hub, and Google’s new campus being planned adjacently, the city will soon feel astonishingly different. Come hear the exciting plans for San Jose’s future from those driving that change. This program is part of Backyard, a three-month public space activation led by The We Company in downtown San Jose.
Sep
24
Tue
San Francisco

Drinks and Discourse: The City and County of San Francisco's Ted Egan

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Grab a drink and hear from the key people who are shaping the region’s future. In this installment of SPUR’s inspiring Drinks and Discourse series, we sit down with Ted Egan, chief economist for the City and County of San Francisco. Come hear about his career path, what a healthy municipal economy looks like, how the city might fare during the next recession and much more.
Sep
25
Wed
San Jose

Resilience is the New Sustainability

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Measurable green design has become accepted by designers and developers around the world, but how can we gauge the preparedness of buildings to withstand natural hazards like earthquakes, floods and fires? The U.S. Resiliency Council is an organization dedicated to improving a building’s resilience, much as the U.S. Green Building Council seeks to improve a building’s environmental performance. Join us for a look at how the Resiliency Council readies buildings to rebound from disasters and why just building to code is not enough.
Sep
25
Wed
San Francisco

What's Poop Got to Do With it?

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The San Francisco Department of Public Works operates 25 Pit Stops (self-cleaning public toilets) across the city, while the 18 neighborhood-focused community benefit districts manually pick up waste and use high-pressure hoses to keep their streets clean. Even with these services, however, the city has become infamous for having human and animal waste on its sidewalks. Come learn how the City of San Francisco and its community partners are combatting this challenge.
Sep
25
Wed
Oakland

Behind-the-Scenes of Community Foods

Tour 4:00 p.m.
In June, a new independent grocery store opened in West Oakland. Named Community Foods, the store was built with the support of many small local investors after years of planning that overcame multiple obstacles. Get a behind-the-scenes tour with its founder to hear what it took to get the store built and the challenges of running a new full-service grocery business in a neighborhood that hasn’t had one in years.
Sep
26
Thu
San Jose

Art as a Community Catalyst

Evening Forum 6:30 p.m.
Hunter Franks builds community through public art, creating innovative ways for people to share stories, connections and ideas. One such work collects positive stories via postcards from one community and then mails them to residents elsewhere in the city, while another brings together hundreds of strangers from every neighborhood in a city for a shared meal. Come hear about how he uses art to make connections and strengthen neighborhoods, and then create and mail an inspiring postcard of your own. This program is part of Backyard, a three-month public space activation led by The We Company in downtown San Jose.
Sep
30
Mon
San Francisco

How We Can Design for Soft Cities

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
A "soft city" is a human-centered city — one that adapts to the needs of its residents and visitors in order to accommodate the pleasures of everyday life. However, this dream is clearly not the reality in most places around the world. What does it take to get from the long commutes and dysfunctional urban environments that we currently experience to these ideal cities? The new book, Soft City, makes a case for density and diversity at the human scale, presented through historical case studies as well as new innovations. Join us for a talk with its author, Gehl creative director David Sim, followed by a panel discussion about the steps we need to take to achieve happiness in the places in which we live, work and play.

October 2019

Oct
1
Tue
San Francisco

How San Francisco is Advancing Racial Equity

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
While San Francisco is one of the most progressive cities in the country, racial inequity persists throughout all strands of individual and community life. Education, criminal justice, jobs, housing, public infrastructure and public health are all impacted by ongoing, systemic discrimination. In collaboration with the city’s Human Rights Commission, more than 20 city departments are working proactively to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Join us for a conversation with some of the departments that are changing the way they do business.
Oct
1
Tue
Oakland

Maintaining Oakland's Character

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Oakland has long held its own unique character, but will the high-rises and office buildings sprouting up around the city jeopardize that character? How can a city preserve something intangible, but so incredibly important, while continuing to grow in order to provide homes, services and employment? Join us as we discuss how Oakland can expand its capacity without compromising the key attributes of its neighborhoods.
Oct
1
Tue
Oakland

The Downtown Oakland Specific Plan

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Since its kickoff in 2015, the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan has gone through a number of charrettes, working groups and revisions in an effort to craft a document that will guide the growth of the city’s urban core for the benefit of all. With a new draft of the plan being released this fall, come learn how the latest version links together the critical components of land use, transportation, housing, economic development, social equity and more.
Oct
2
Wed
San Jose

Development Math 101

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Building new housing is complicated and costly. From land acquisition to project design to project entitlement to financing, a developer must go through numerous steps before the first shovel hits the ground. The actual process and financing realities can be confusing, and as a result, well-intentioned decisions can lead to unintended consequences. Join us to demystify the math and learn how we can make more informed policy decisions in the future. Co-presented by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.
Oct
2
Wed
San Francisco

Intergenerational Trauma and Urban Planning

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Oppressive and biased policies, disenfranchisement and targeted practices have fueled intergenerational trauma, leading to the numerous health, social and financial inequities plaguing marginalized communities. Hear from health and urban planning leaders about the ways in which the current urban planning landscape perpetuates trauma and poor health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
Oct
2
Wed
San Francisco

Ballots and Brews

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
On November 5, San Francisco residents will head to the voting booth. Instead of blindly facing a slew of complex ballot measures, become a more informed voter by joining SPUR policy staff in an annual tradition as they explain the ballot over beers.
Oct
3
Thu
San Jose

Everyone Counts: The 2020 Census in San Jose

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In about a year, we’ll undertake a massive effort that underpins our democracy: counting every person in the country as part of the 2020 Census. That tally becomes the foundation for representation in Congress, funding for crucial public services and more. A successful census will also count those who are often hard to reach, including renters, children, people experiencing homelessness, immigrants and people with limited English proficiency. Explore the efforts already underway in San Jose and Santa Clara County to ensure the census’s equitable success.
Oct
3
Thu
San Francisco

Why School Integration Matters for Cities

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
The new book Children of the Dream studies school integration efforts in the 1970s and ’80s and shows that students of all races who attended integrated and well-funded schools were more successful in life than those who did not. Unfortunately, the United States has taken steps backward since that time. If we are to create equitable and inclusive cities that improve opportunities for the next generation, one key step is to examine how to better integrate our schools. Come discuss school integration, why it works and why it matters.
Oct
10
Thu
San Francisco

Economic Inequality and the Future of Work

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
With the rise of AI, automation and the gig economy, everyone is trying to forecast the future of work. But perhaps a more urgent topic is the future value of a worker. Here in the Bay Area, a stark wage gap is causing a reckoning that’s being felt across the region. Is a lasting solution simply a matter of implementing a higher minimum wage, adopting sustainable hiring practices or providing a universal basic income? Or is the problem systemic and in need of more radical change? In part two of a three-part series, we’ll discuss the value of work and its impacts on the Bay Area of tomorrow. Co-presented by KQED.
Oct
10
Thu
San Jose

Community Engagement Through Creative Action

Evening Forum 6:30 p.m.
The Better Block concept began as a handful of community organizers turning blighted blocks into temporary, walkable urban interventions that featured pop-up businesses, bike lanes and landscaping. Nine years and over 200 cities later, the idea of empowering residents to improve their neighborhoods resonates deeply with communities around the world. Come learn how this scrappy, DIY idea has evolved into an effective method of rethinking underused areas and spurring com-munity engagement through placemaking. This program is part of Backyard, a three-month public space activation led by The We Company in downtown San Jose.
Oct
16
Wed
San Jose

Best Practices in Community Engagement

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Urban villages—accessible mixed-use neighborhoods that provide both housing and jobs—hold great environmental and placemaking potential for the future of San Jose, but they are being held back by a host of regulatory and market challenges. Join us for a briefing on SPUR’s latest white paper and dive deep to learn how San Jose (and other communities) might better engage their communities in planning issues.
Oct
16
Wed
Oakland

Checking In: New Hotels in Oakland

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Residential towers and office buildings aren’t the only things being built in downtown Oakland. Hotel development is now drawing interest, with several new projects promising an influx of tax revenue and tourist dollars. Come hear why the city’s real estate market has become favorable toward hotel construction, and learn about some of the new buildings slated to make their debut over the next several years.
Oct
17
Thu
Oakland

Soda Taxes: Where Does the Money go?

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
In 2014, Berkeley passed a first-in-the-nation tax on sugary drinks, and voters in Oakland and San Francisco followed up with similar taxes in their own cities in 2016. But where and how is this revenue being spent, and who’s accountable for doing so? Join us to compare and contrast how much money has been raised and the process for spending the revenue from the soda tax in each city.
Oct
17
Thu
Oakland

How is Housing Policy Climate Policy?

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
How well do you understand the links between housing policy and our climate goals? Many current housing policies undermine our ability to reduce transportation emissions—the biggest source of climate pollution in California. These policies also affect issues of environmental justice, equity, building electrification and affordability. Come learn about these connections and how you can help support housing policy that moves us toward climate solutions and justice.
Oct
17
Thu
San Jose

A New Wave of Innovative Leadership

Evening Forum 6:30 p.m.
A fresh crop of young leaders are responsible for driving many of San Jose’s most exciting new ideas, from how we experience transportation, public space and arts and culture to how we think about community-building, placemaking and neighborhood connectivity. Participate in a conversation with some of the individuals who are effecting positive change throughout San Jose in new and compelling ways. This program is part of Backyard, a three-month public space activation led by The We Company in downtown San Jose.
Oct
19
Sat
San Jose

NEW DATE: Pitch, Please

Evening Forum 6:30 p.m.
Do you have a great idea for improving public space in San Jose? Do you see a parking space, street corner or empty lot and imagine it as something better? Bring your best civic proposals before a panel of local community leaders, led by Local Color, for an evening of community idea sharing. Aim high and your proposal might be one of those selected to receive seed funding in order to become reality. This program is part of a series of SPUR-presented talks held at Backyard SJ, a new temporary public space created by The We Company in downtown San Jose.
Oct
21
Mon
San Francisco

Crafting a City’s Visual Identity

Evening Forum 6:00 p.m.
Though elements like geography, culture, language and cuisine may naturally distinguish cities from each other, many also create visual identities to further this differentiation. Details like seals, flags and mascots also serve a role in establishing a commonality of place, building community and pride amongst residents. These elements help a city define itself and its people, but can they stand the test of time as these places grow and change? Join us as we explore how and why cities craft their visual identities. Co-presented by Department of Here.
Oct
23
Wed
Oakland

Blockchain in Urban Planning and Transportation

Lunchtime Forum 12:30 p.m.
Blockchain gained notoriety during the bitcoin boom, but the technology is capable of transforming the core foundations of nearly any industry, including transportation and urban planning. However, since blockchain can function as a massive data aggregator as well as a decentralized system with limited opportunity for government intervention, there are some critical pitfalls of the technology, especially when there’s not much oversight. How can cities avoid these issues and pursue an ethical implementation of blockchain, and how will the technology shape the cities of our future?
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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