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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Kincade Fire: It Will Take a Region to Combat Our Shared Threats

October 29, 2019 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
The Kincade Fire has forced the largest-ever evacuation of Sonoma County and threatens areas that are still recovering from the devastating fires of 2017. As the climate changes, the threats to California communities are becoming more frequent and more severe. And if we don’t plan regionally, the resilience investments we do make may not have the expected payoff.

How California Can Stop Sprawl, Reduce Emissions and Strengthen Regional Economies — All at the Same Time

October 28, 2019 By Laura Tolkoff, Regional Planning Policy Director
California can address many of its issues at once by adding new jobs and housing around passenger rail stations. In September, SPUR partnered with Governor Newsom's Regions Rise Together initiative to hold a half-day workshop for California cities with rail stations. Together we asked: How can the state help cities spur compact growth and economic development near rail?

2019 Silver SPUR Awards: How Michael Krasny's Storytelling Informs and Engages San Francisco

October 28, 2019
2019 Silver SPUR Honoree Michael Krasny, Ph.D., is a professor of English language and literature at SFSU and host of KQED’s “Forum with Michael Krasny.” He discovered literature at a young age and has been telling poignant stories through his numerous books and radio show ever since. Michael serves the public through broadcast journalism that spreads information about the world’s most pressing topics.

2019 Silver SPUR Awards: How Jane Graf Pursues Her Belief That Housing Is a Human Right

October 28, 2019
2019 Silver SPUR Honoree Jane Graf is the president and CEO of Mercy Housing, one of the nation's largest affordable housing organizations. She seeks to provide affordable, reliable housing options for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations. Currently, she is working on transforming affordable housing in the Sunnydale-Velasco neighborhood, a partnership with Hope SF.

2019 Silver SPUR Awards: How Charles M. Collins Empowers Children From All Backgrounds

October 28, 2019
2019 Silver SPUR Honoree Charles M. Collins is president and CEO of YMCA of San Francisco and serves on numerous commissions. With his leadership, the YMCA is a sustainable organization focused on human growth and potential, especially on empowering children in leadership. His extensive experience in law, city planning and real estate led to the Downtown Plan for San Francisco.

2019 Silver SPUR Awards: How Nínive Calegari Infuses Care into Education

October 28, 2019
2019 Silver SPUR Honoree Nínive Calegari is an educator, nonprofit co-founder, award-winning film producer, and bestselling author. She advocated for the importance of teachers with her book, Teachers Have it Easy, and her film, American Teacher. The Teacher's Salary Project fights for wages to reflect the prestige of the profession. She engages community youth through Enterprise for Youth and 826 National.

Solving the Bay Area’s Problems Means Embracing the Collective Us

October 23, 2019 By Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR President and CEO
At this year's Silver SPUR Awards, Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR’s new president and CEO, shared her approach for addressing the problems facing the Bay Area: Our challenges have divided us, she argued, but working on them collectively could bring us together.

Four Trends Shaping the Future of Downtown San Jose

October 16, 2019 By Michelle Huttenhoff and Jonathan Davis
San Jose — long known as the bedroom community for Silicon Valley — has struggled to grow its job base. But four new trends in downtown development may be about to change that. In 2014, SPUR made recommendations for how to encourage growth downtown. Five years later, we are seeing these ideas unfold — with positive indications for San Jose’s financial footing.

How Oakland’s Housing Boom Can Help Prevent Displacement

September 30, 2019 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
Oakland’s annual rent increase has slowed dramatically as the amount of new housing has skyrocketed. Some developers are even offering free rent to lure prospective tenants. This is welcome news for renters who can afford market-rate rents, but the benefits are not limited to them. New research demonstrates that construction of market-rate housing can have positive effects for those who already live in the neighborhood.

$30 Million in Soda Tax Revenue: What Will It Fund in San Francisco and Oakland?

September 27, 2019 By Katie Ettman, Food and Agriculture Policy Associate
San Francisco and Oakland will spend a combined $29.5 million in soda taxes this year. Now that elected officials have passed budgets in both cities, we can answer two questions: How do both cities plan to spend the revenue? And have San Francisco and Oakland followed the recommendations of their respective soda tax advisory committees?

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