A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Six Ways We Can Create an Integrated Transit Network, Together

One of the barriers to restoring Bay Area transit ridership after the pandemic is the fragmented nature of our public transit system, which can discourage people from riding. To stimulate recovery of both the transit system and the economy, policymakers are now pushing for changes that will welcome riders back and make regional transit work for more people. To make the most of these opportunities, SPUR believes six principles should guide this work.

Regional Challenges Need a Regional Approach

SPUR’s recently released Regional Strategy outlines a vision for the Bay Area of 2070 as an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region. The strategy provides a roadmap for building that future and centers deep regional cooperation as critical to transformational change. To celebrate the release of the project, four Bay Area civic leaders gathered on May 13 to talk about the role of regionalism in advancing a future where everyone thrives.

From Transit to Tipoff: Solving the Transportation Challenges of Large Venues

Large venues like convention centers, stadiums and sports arenas play an important role in the social and economic life of our cities. As public space, they bring people together to be inspired, celebrate victory (or commiserate loss) and share passions. At the same time, they are a critical economic driver, contributing to a city’s tax base and bolstering the sales of nearby businesses. However, over the last decade there has been a shift in thinking for how these centers can be better integrated into the community and designed as mixed-use destinations that focus on placemaking and people, regardless if you have a ticket to the event or game.

Can Automated Speed Safety Systems Advance Racial and Economic Equity?

Automated speed safety systems are in place in more than 150 communities around the United States. Such systems offer the potential to reduce traffic violence and establish a more equitable framework of traffic enforcement. But those outcomes are not guaranteed. Achieving them requires thoughtful planning and design, an opportunity that California now has as legislators consider Assembly Bill 550, which would authorize a 5-year speed safety camera pilot program in six California cities.

Coming Soon: The SPUR Regional Strategy

Three years ago, SPUR undertook an initiative to envision a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Bay Area for all and propose the bold strategies needed to get there. On May 13, we will release the completed SPUR Regional Strategy, providing a clear vision for the region’s next 50 years.

Welcome New SPUR Board Members

SPUR has welcomed 13 new members to its board of directors. These new appointees bring extensive knowledge in planning, housing, transportation, economic justice, good government, food and agriculture, sustainability and resilience to the organization’s leadership. We look forward to their advisership as we continue our work to make the Bay Area a place where everyone can thrive.

Managing Wildfire Risk and New Development

California has experienced unprecedented wildfire damage in the last several years as climate change has increased temperatures and dried out land and vegetation. The seven largest wildfires in recorded California history have all taken place in the last four years. As a state, we need to develop tools to help us combat wildfire risk in order to save lives, homes and communities.

Double Up Food Bucks Stood Tall in 2020

SPUR's healthy food incentive program reflected the difficulties that thousands in the Bay Area faced in making ends meet during the pandemic. Double Up Food Bucks addressed the soaring demand for food assistance throughout the pandemic, and, alongside efforts by the federal government, non-profit civic engineers, and the state government, supported low-income Californians by increasing their food budgets at participating stores in Santa Clara and Alameda counties.

Remembering Al Baum

Former SPUR Board Member, attorney, urban planner, clinical social worker, and philanthropist, Alvin H. Baum, died March 28, 2021 at age 90. Al was a trusted advisor, an intellectual stimulus, a model public citizen and most importantly a caring friend.

The View from Sacramento: State Legislators Share Their Priorities for the Coming Year

The COVID-19 pandemic upended last year’s legislative session, and now legislators are making up for lost time with an ambitious set of proposed bills. Earlier this month, Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember David Chiu and Assemblymember Philip Ting joined SPUR and the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition for a conversation about the prospects and priorities for the coming legislative session.