A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

The Bay Area Won’t Meet Its Goals Without a New Transit-Oriented Development Policy

The crises that confronted the Bay Area before the COVID-19 pandemic have not gone away: inadequate and unaffordable housing, growing racial inequality and growing impacts from climate change. Building diverse communities with much more housing, services and jobs near transit is the best opportunity we have to tackle these challenges. The newly released Plan Bay Area 2050 charts a path to this future, but an outdated policy from 2005 is standing in the way.

Caltrain Has Become a Regional Railroad — Now Its Governance Must Follow

Regional transit coordination and integration are urgent priorities for Caltrain. As board members prepare for Caltrain’s October 22 special meeting on regional governance options, SPUR urges the agency to commit itself to open-minded engagement in regional transit governance discussions. Caltrain needs to consider new institutional models that would grow its capacity and enable greater regionalism.

SPUR Welcomes Sujata Srivastava as San Francisco Director

SPUR is pleased to announce that Sujata Srivastava has joined the organization as San Francisco director. “We’re so excited Sujata has joined SPUR,” says San Francisco Board Chair Ariane Hogan. “Her deep, practical experience in housing, urban planning and economic development policy is exactly what San Francisco needs as it faces tremendous hurdles to ensuring that the city is strong, welcoming and sustainable.”

SPUR Welcomes Laura Shipman as Community Planning Policy Director

SPUR is pleased to announce that Laura Shipman has joined the organization as community planning policy director. She brings a wealth of knowledge as a planner and urban designer with experience working in communities throughout the country. She looks forward to partnering with Bay Area communities to work toward lasting solutions to their most pressing needs.

How to Ensure Small Businesses Survive the Pandemic and Flourish in the Future

Small businesses account for 99.8% of all of California’s businesses and employ 48.5% of the state’s employees. Small businesses of color, in particular, have become the foundation of entire economies. SPUR hosted a conversation with Ahmed Ali Bob of Square, Christina Bernardin of Boston Properties and Elisse Douglass of the Oakland Black Business Fund on the vital role of small businesses, particularly Black-owned and businesses of color.

For Bay Area Transit, a Turning Point

In the early months of the pandemic, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission convened a Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force to stabilize and reimagine public transit in the face of a severe financial crisis. This month, the task force released its Transit Transformation Action Plan with 27 actions to reimagine transit and set the stage for new legislation, commission policies, funding and governance changes in upcoming years.

SPUR Announces Platform for Economic Justice Advocacy

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession have made economic justice advocacy more urgent than ever before. As the Bay Area looks to rebuild and reimagine its economy, federal, state and local governments are hungry for policy interventions that will help people become economically secure. SPUR is committed to helping shape the conversation. We are pleased to announce the adoption of SPUR’s Economic Justice Platform for Advocacy.

Planning Cities for Everyone Starts With Earning Trust

Incoming San José Director Fred Buzo shares his goals and vision for SPUR’s work in the South Bay. Fred strongly believes that San José can achieve social equity as it continues to develop its downtown core and other areas. For this to happen, we must be willing to admit our past failings, struggle through our differences and work together to better our community.

SPUR-Sponsored Housing Bills Continue to Move in the State Legislature

SPUR is advocating for a number of pro-housing bills and regulatory reforms in Sacramento that would increase housing supply and reduce the time and cost to produce housing. A number of key SPUR-sponsored and supported bills continue to move through the legislative process. When the Legislature returns from summer recess a number of bills will face critical votes in the State Senate and Assembly.