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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Getting Local Land Use Approvals Right

October 9, 2018 By Raine Robichaud
What can California and its cities do to bring down the soaring costs of housing? Land entitlement is one process that could be reformed to speed up the construction of new housing and reduce costs. At a recent SPUR forum, researchers and planners discussed how state and city reforms might (or might not) streamline the approval processes.

Advancing Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in San Jose

October 3, 2018 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
San Jose leads the nation in electric vehicle purchases. In the quickly evolving landscape of electric vehicle ownership, charging technology and future demand, what is the right level of charging service to provide in commercial buildings and multifamily housing? To discuss this challenge, and the market opportunity, SPUR recently brought together real estate developers with experts from PG&E, the City of San Jose and Tesla.

What Does Access Really Mean?

October 3, 2018 By Raine Robichaud
What do we mean when we say a home, a street or a city is “accessible”? It’s more than a measure of the physical characteristics of the built environment, and it impacts a person’s overall sense of freedom and representation. At a recent SPUR forum, panelists discussed what architects, designers, planners and citizens can do to increase access in our cities.

How Can We Create the Best User Experience at Diridon Station?

October 2, 2018 By Nicole Soultanov, San Jose Project Manager, and Teresa Alvarado, San Jose Director
Creating a great user experience at the redeveloped Diridon Station will be critical to whether people embrace the station and use transit. If Diridon’s transit services are going to compete with the automobile — or the next big transportation technology — the partners developing the station will need to focus on the user as the primary driver in their planning efforts .

Bay Area Cities Step Up Their Climate Commitments

September 27, 2018 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
Among the most inspiring outcomes of the Global Climate Action Summit, hosted in San Francisco earlier this month, were the climate commitments made by governments and organizations around the world. Bay Area cities and agencies announced ambitious new goals that will wean the region off of natural gas and diesel and make way for a carbon-free future.

Why Bay Area Transit Fares Must Change Before the Upgrade to Clipper 2.0

September 26, 2018 By Arielle Fleisher, Sr. Transportation Associate
Clipper, the Bay Area’s transit fare payment system, is getting an upgrade and moving to a new technology platform, Clipper 2.0. If it happens before the big move, downsizing and streamlining fare policies between the region's 27 transit operators could save millions, make transit more affordable and increase ridership.

Lessons for Guadalupe River Park: How D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park Promotes Inclusion

September 5, 2018 By Joshua Brett, Teresa Alvarado and Jaclyn Tidwell
The proposed transformation of downtown San Jose opens up an opportunity to create iconic and welcoming public spaces where the community can gather. That's why SPUR has launched a major initiative to re-envision the Guadalupe River Park. We invited Scott Kratz of Washington, D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park to share lessons learned from the inclusive effort to realize the community’s ambitions for the project.

Tools for Minding, and Mending, Transportation Gaps

August 29, 2018 By SPUR Staff
Gaps in the Bay Area transportation system make it challenging for riders to use the many services available: gaps in service, gaps in information, gaps between how the transit network functions today and how it could be. This year SPUR’s Transit + Design Workshops focused on research and design tools to help fill in the gaps that detract from a great customer experience.

How Can San Jose Bring Urban Villages to Life?

August 7, 2018 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
In May, the San Jose City Council took an important step toward realizing the city’s general plan when it approved a framework for implementing neighborhood plans known as urban village plans. SPUR strongly supports these steps but believes that even bigger ones must be taken in order for urban villages to succeed. Here are three ways to ensure they live up to their promise.

Lessons for Guadalupe River Park: Thinking Big Together to Plan the Los Angeles River

August 6, 2018 By Joshua Brett and Jaclyn Tidwell
As downtown San Jose grows, the city has a unique opportunity to reimagine the underutilized Guadalupe River Park as the green centerpiece of an expanded city center. Omar Brownson of River LA recently visited SPUR to share his experience leading the charge to revitalize the Los Angeles River. The group’s focus on a collective vision offers lessons for San Jose and Guadalupe River Park.

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