We invite you to reimagine a Bay Area where we protect our region and all its inhabitants from climate change.

Climate + Transportation - SPUR Regional Strategy 2021

Imagine a Bay Area where we develop adaptations to climate change that mirror the genius systems already at play in our environment. For ourselves and for future generations, we clean our air, protect our habitat and restore the ecosystems of our unique plants and animals. The Bay-Delta and its tributaries thrive once again. We eliminate the use of fossil fuels in homes, in business and in transportation.

We give people more options to get out of their cars — one of the biggest causes of climate change — and get around quickly, easily and enjoyably by train, bus, carpool or bike. We remember the real purpose of conservation: the joy and security of living in a world that is healthy for all living creatures.

Artwork by Krystal Lauk

Artwork: Krystal Lauk

Let’s eliminate carbon emissions, increase our resilience to sea level rise and wildfires, and improve our transit network.

One of the gravest threats to the Bay Area is climate change. In California, it has already led to historic heat waves and wildfires that burn down homes, pollute our air and lead to further environmental degradation. Without large-scale action to reduce our dependence on oil, climate change threatens to radically undermine life as we know it, including our ability to breathe clean air, drink clean water, enjoy time outside and live a life free of respiratory illness. Driving contributes to traffic, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn degrade health outcomes and fuel climate change. One of the most critical things we can do to combat climate change is change the way we get around — by creating an accessible, world-class transit network and better transportation options for everyone.

Artwork by Innosanto Nagara

Artwork: Innosanto Nagara

First things first: we must stop using fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel use is causing runaway global climate change and threatening people, cities and ecosystems. But we still have time to reduce climate impacts if we transition to renewable sources for almost all energy purposes. California has the most ambitious climate policy framework in the country, and the Bay Area has the resources, political temperament and innovative spirit to demonstrate how to eliminate fossil fuel use. This means getting gas and diesel out of our cars, trucks and buses, and natural gas out of our buildings, replacing it all with renewable electricity from solar and wind. We can prototype ways to become fossil-free, modeling them for cities and urban regions around the world. We must protect our climate like our future depends on it — because it does.

Climate Change - SPUR Regional Strategy 2021

How can we create a region that is resilient to sea level rise and wildfire?

The San Francisco Bay Area is both a treasured place and a hazardous environment where flooding, wildfires and earthquakes are common today. These hazards are likely to become more frequent, larger and more damaging as climate change puts the region’s people, built environment and natural habitats at risk. As a region exposed to multiple hazards, we must manage for all of them at the same time. In doing so, we must prioritize nature-based solutions and protect those people in under-resourced communities.

Artwork by Nina Charuza

Artwork: Nina Charuza

A high-performing transit system can be a major factor in where the future of climate change takes us.

Passenger vehicles are one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions in the Bay Area. But our current reliance on solo driving is not likely to change until it’s no longer the cheaper, faster, more convenient option. In order to address climate change and create great places, we must radically improve our transit system and make it a viable way for more people to get to more places. To do so, we’ll need to build transit projects more quickly and cost-effectively and create a seamless transit network with frequent, all-day service and easy, timed connections. To complete this network, we must also transform roads and highways to improve the speed and reliability of buses throughout the region and beyond. Finally, to further level the playing field between driving and other modes of travel, we need to charge those who drive alone to reflect the costs that their driving imposes on others.

Artwork by Alice Beasley

Artwork: Alice Beasley

We need to act collectively, swiftly and with extraordinary conviction to protect our planet.

The Bay Area has been a global leader on climate and energy policy, but we can and must do more. Every fire and drought painfully foretells how little time we have to waste. We in the Bay Area are uniquely poised to take action around zoning, transportation system investments, building energy use and renewable energy. It is our opportunity to demonstrate to other regions what it takes to become fossil-free and showcase the freedoms and benefits this pathway can offer us.

 

 

This Invitation is only one part of our vision for the Bay Area of 2070.