We believe education empowers people to take an active role in creating a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous region. So, beginning March 1, we’re making the majority of our programming free to the public.

Upcoming Events

July 2022

Dogpatch Public Realm Aerial Perspective
Jul
9
Sat
San Francisco

Urban Verdancy in San Francisco's Eastern Edge

Tour to
The Dogpatch, a historic maritime industrial area once on the fringe of San Francisco, has long been one of the city's most inventive neighborhoods. In recent years, it's proven itself a hotbed of experimental, community-driven landscape interventions that expand and enhance the community’s verdant public spaces. The area has become a confluence for innovative works designed by Dogpatch-based Fletcher Studio, groundbreaking public space plans — including the Dogpatch Public Realm Plan and the 22nd Street Master Plan — and urban greening projects facilitated by the Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District, a first-in-the-nation assessment district established in 2015 that covers 200 acres and 70 blocks of its respective neighborhoods. Take part in a walking tour to visit some of the incredible spaces that have repurposed the neighborhood’s underutilized industrial and municipal infrastructure and learn how the Dogpatch serves as a model of dynamic public space design.
A group of 3 sorts through produce.
Jul
12
Tue
San José

How Food Gets to Those Who Need It

Tour to
One in 10 adults in the Bay Area struggle to consistently find three meals a day, and food banks around the region play a vital role in ensuring that food is accessible to those who need it. However, the pandemic has only served to exacerbate food insecurity in our communities, and local food banks have been required to shift their operations in order to accommodate the increased need. One prime example is Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, which has been serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties since 1974. Second Harvest is now serving an average of 450,000 people every month — a 60% increase over pre-pandemic levels. Join us for a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour to explore from where Second Harvest sources their food, how they work with more than 300 partners to get it in the hands of those who need it and how you can help support the vision of a Bay Area where everyone is nourished.
Senator Skinner chats with constituents.
Jul
14
Thu
Oakland

POSTPONED: A Conversation with Senator Nancy Skinner [In-Person Program]

Evening Forum to
Elected to the California State Senate in 2016, following three terms in the California State Assembly, Senator Nancy Skinner is a social justice and climate change advocate and leader in the legislature. She currently chairs the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and is vice chair of the Legislative Women's Caucus. In her six years in the senate, she’s authored and successfully passed landmark legislation that has tackled housing affordability, criminal justice reform, income inequality and far more. Join us for a one-on-one conversation with the senator to learn more about what she plans to accomplish this year and her outlook for both the state budget and the current legislative session.
zoning map
Jul
19
Tue
San Francisco

How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It [In-Person Program]

Lunchtime Forum to
What if scrapping one flawed policy could bring U.S. cities closer to addressing debilitating housing shortages, stunted growth and innovation, persistent racial and economic segregation and car-dependent development? Zoning maps across the country have come to arbitrarily dictate where Americans may live and work, forcing cities into a pattern of growth that is segregated and sprawling. The new book, Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It, argues that it’s time for America to move beyond zoning as a necessary — if not sufficient — condition for building more affordable, vibrant, equitable and sustainable cities. Hear from the author as he lays the groundwork for this ambitious motion by clearing up common confusions and myths about how American cities regulate growth and examining the major contemporary critiques of zoning.
Person walks by a street market.
Jul
21
Thu
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

End Poverty, Make Trillions

Lunchtime Forum to
Millions of people in America live in poverty, struggling to pay their bills, feed their families and make ends meet. That reality has a deeply harmful effect not only on those experiencing it, but also on the rest of America as a whole. The economic costs of childhood poverty alone are $1 trillion a year, and an estimated 170,000 people a year die from poverty in the United States. Darryl Finkton, Jr., the founder of End Poverty. Make Trillions, has a plan to end poverty at the federal level and generate massive economic growth at the same time. His proposal, called the Seed Money Act, would provide unrestricted seed money grants to Americans living below the federal poverty line. Over 10 years, these seed money grants would generate a return of over $8 trillion, save 1.7 million lives and lift 34 million Americans out of poverty. Join us for a one-on-one conversation about poverty, its effects on our society and economy and opportunities to end it once and for all.
person dancing
Jul
21
Thu
San Francisco

In the Banlieues/Centering the Margin: Saint-Denis/Oakland

Exhibition Opening to
The first of a series of international exhibitions focused on the margins and suburbs of France and the United States, “In the Banlieues/Centering the Margin: Saint-Denis/Oakland” is presented during Summer 2022 in Paris, Saint-Denis, San Francisco and Oakland. Whatever you call them - banlieues, peripheries, suburbs - this exhibition highlights the symbolic pivot from the center to the periphery. Artistic movements, social struggles, urban innovations: Oakland, California and Saint-Denis, France are today exerting their influence and inventing solutions to the challenges posed by equity and the rapid urban development of metropolitan areas.
bart train
Jul
27
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

The Future of Rail in the Bay Area

Lunchtime Forum to
Transportation leaders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are looking to invest in other modes of transportation, as well as deliver more efficient transportation design, scope and infrastructure. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has been diligently working on a study that examines how rail agencies throughout the region can work collaboratively on larger rail projects and operations. Join us as we discuss the findings from this new Regional Rail Study with Metropolitan Transportation Commission staff and other transportation partners throughout the region, and learn what these findings mean for the future of rail transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Fruitvale Plaza, Oakland
Jul
29
Fri
Oakland

Exploring Oakland's District 5

Tour to
From Jingletown to Upper Peralta, Highland Park to Melrose, Oakland’s District 5 is one of the city’s most diverse and dynamic. From the effervescent streetlife of International Blvd. to amazing cultural resources like the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, District 5 has far more to enjoy than anyone could experience in an afternoon, a year or even a lifetime. But if you only had one hour, where should you go? Join Councilmember Noel Gallo for a walk in his district to learn about some of his favorite places and understand how he tirelessly works to represent his constituents.

August 2022

water spicket
Aug
3
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Drinking Water Equity in the Bay Area

Lunchtime Forum to
As the drought across California worsens, low income and racial minority communities struggle to access safe, reliable and affordable drinking water. This constant strain often prevents impacted communities from fulfilling what should be simple, everyday needs: cooking, drinking and sanitation. California’s annual Drinking Water Needs Assessment, prepared by the State Water Resources Control Board, identifies failing water systems that disproportionately impact communities of color — and the results are eye-opening. Join us as we dive into learning more about the issues facing water equity and how the Bay Area can address these inequities to provide accessible drinking water to all residents.
San Pedro Square, San José
Aug
9
Tue
San José

Al Fresco, All the Time?

Evening Forum to
Proposed and implemented in 2020 as a way to offer relief to struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, San José Al Fresco — the city’s program to close streets, parking lots and private property for use by diners and shoppers — has led to vibrant streets and economic recovery. Though the program was unanimously extended last year, its applicability in public spaces, such as streets and sidewalks, is scheduled to sunset this June. What does the future hold for outdoor dining and commerce in San José? Join us as we discuss the program's successes and challenges in downtown, as well as across the city, and learn how best practices in shared spaces and slow streets programs can lead to permanent Al Fresco adoption in San José.
Overhead view of Eureka Valley, San Francisco
Aug
11
Thu
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Answering the Call to Build Equitable Housing

Evening Forum to
Come participate in a multi-part series that will examine the lasting impacts of property ownership on families, neighborhoods and cities and probe its relationship to intergenerational wealth, exclusionary housing and recently-passed legislation that strives to address inequities of the past and present. In this first program, Joaquin Torres, San Francisco's Assessor-Recorder, will lead a discussion about the myriad tools once used to enable exclusionary practices, from redlining to racist covenants, and how less overt, but equally malicious, transcriptions continue to persist today, such as under-appraisals for property owners of color. Hear from housing justice advocates, researchers, lawmakers and journalists that are taking action to actuate equity in housing and build stronger communities across the country.
Colorful storefronts
Aug
12
Fri
Oakland

Exploring Oakland's District 6

Tour to
Councilmember Loren Taylor has represented District 6 on the Oakland City Council since 2018, serving a swath of neighborhoods stretching from the hills down nearly to the San Leandro Bay. With amazing food, tight-knit communities like Maxwell Park, Havenscourt and Eastmont and longstanding Oakland icons like Mills College and the Coliseum Swap Meet, District 6 has no shortage of sights and experiences. Join the councilmember for a walking tour around the district to see it through his eyes, uncover his favorite hidden gems and learn why he’s proud to represent District 6.
housing in california
Aug
16
Tue
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

How to Build Middle-Income Homes in California

Lunchtime Forum to
Nowhere in California are middle-income households safe from rapidly increasing housing costs, and policymakers and experts from Yreka to San Diego are looking at a variety of ways to address and reduce the incredible burden placed on these families. A new paper from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, The Landscape of Middle-Income Housing Affordability in California, spotlights specific policy opportunities for officials at the state and local levels and identifies how to support the construction of middle-income housing by changing land use policies, building codes and regulations. Take part in an in-depth discussion with the authors of the report to explore what California must do in order to build homes for middle-income families across the state.
Broadway and 19th, Oakland
Aug
18
Thu
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

How Bay Area Cities are Guiding the Region's Housing Growth

Lunchtime Forum to
San Francisco, Oakland and San José are all in the middle of updating their housing elements, a state-mandated, critically-important component of a municipality’s General Plan that helps guide local growth and meet the housing needs of everyone in their community. However, the housing element process is never straightforward, requiring the incorporation of Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) quotas, numerous iterations and significant public outreach before the final draft can be submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Come hear from all three cities as they discuss their respective processes, the challenges they’ve encountered, how each plans to accommodate their RHNA allocations and how their elements can build upon each other to improve the future of housing in the Bay Area.
Image of a lobby
Aug
30
Tue
San José

Rescheduled: All-Use Buildings and the Pursuit of Equitable, Resilient Communities [In-Person Program]

Evening Forum to
Buildings are typically designed for a single use: offices are offices, restaurants are restaurants and houses are houses. But what happens to any of these building types when not in use? They often lie fallow, becoming not only an inefficient use of space, but reducing the vibrancy and overall health of their surrounding communities, as well. Mixed-use buildings, which combine multiple complementary uses under one roof, are one solution to this challenge, but is there a way to take the concept even further and move to the idea of rotational uses? Could we design proactively so as to reduce commercial vacancies, lower housing costs, improve inclusion and address the impacts of climate change? Proponents of “all-use buildings” argue that it’s possible, and that designing for ultimate flexibility of use is critical if we want to build truly sustainable, equitable, elastic and economically-strong communities. Come learn more about these radically innovative buildings and how they might serve as the foundation of tomorrow’s neighborhoods.
LAPD patrolling the highway
Aug
31
Wed
San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Life in the (Not So) Fast Lane

Evening Forum to
The Bay Area has a lot of carpool lanes. These lanes are supposed to prioritize high-occupancy vehicles, encouraging more people to carpool. Too often, however, carpool lanes are just as congested as the regular travel lanes that they run adjacent to, rarely guaranteeing expedience. One of the biggest challenges to efficiency in these lanes is the difficulty of enforcement: not only is it dangerous, accurately discerning vehicle occupancy is problematic when faced with tinted windows, nighttime conditions, small children, large dogs or anything else that one might imagine would be an obstacle to error-free headcounts. Thankfully, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is piloting promising new enforcement technologies that dispense with the hazards and subterfuge. Come learn about these “vehicle occupancy detection” pilot programs, their advantages, the concerns about their adoption and what it will take to make our carpool lanes actually work.
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.