By Livesey Pack and Amanda Ryan
Who determines how public spaces are used, and who gets to use them? SPUR’s weeklong symposium Ideas + Action 2020: Public Space brought people together from different cities to share their perspectives regarding equitable public spaces. A set of themes emerged: Building equitable public spaces requires a public and professional reckoning with power, safety and accessibility.
By Eli Zigas and Diego Ortiz
A new request for applications may not, on the face of it, seem like a big deal. But, when the California Department of Social Services posted its request for applications for the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Integration Pilot Project in early September, it marked an important milestone in SPUR’s long-term goal of making healthy food incentives a permanent supplement to the CalFresh/SNAP program.
By Laura Feinstein, Sustainability and Resilience Policy Director
What could California do to limit climate change and clean the air if the state had $30 billion to spend in the next 10 years? Climate change policy leaders gathered to tackle this question at an October 1 convening organized by SPUR and Move LA. On the table is a potential ballot measure that could go before California voters in November 2022.
By Matt Mahan, Michelle Huttenhoff and Michael Lane
After decades of efforts to attract investment, downtown San José was experiencing a rare moment in the spotlight before COVID-19. Big project announcements from Google, Adobe and others seemed to put within reach San José’s decades-old aspiration to become a lively urban center. Now, as the pandemic drags on, residents are left to wonder how much of downtown’s previous momentum will carry through the crisis.
By Teresa Alvarado, Chief of Local Impact
Leaders in Silicon Valley are looking at the innovations that might emerge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is clear: This time, it won’t be an engineering solution. The Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable, launched to help businesses safely reopen, realized that its goal was not to return to “normal” but to repair the systemic disparities that existed before the pandemic.
The Bay Area has underinvested in transit for decades. Today, in the midst of a pandemic, it’s hard to imagine how the region will catch up: Our major transit projects regularly take decades to build and rank among the most expensive in the world. SPUR’s latest report offers three big ideas for delivering transit projects in less time,for less money and with better public value.
By Diego Ortiz, Food and Agriculture Program Manager
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, social service agencies have been under-resourced and ill-prepared to deal with the huge surge of people seeking help to meet their basic needs. SPUR offers six ways the state can improve the benefits process and help Californians get the food assistance and other services they need.
By Benjamin Grant, SPUR & Stephen Engblom, AECOM
SPUR partnered with AECOM to investigate what it would take to house everyone who wants to live in the Bay Area. We’ve published our research in a new report, Model Places: Envisioning a Future Bay Area With Room and Opportunity for Everyone.
John Stewart was a pillar of the real estate and affordable housing communities across California. Founder and chairman of the John Stewart Company, John was an entrepreneur who devoted his life to providing high quality, well-designed, well-managed affordable housing. Today the company manages over 420 projects with 33,000 units, housing 100,000 residents statewide, and is owner or general partner of a substantial number of these.
Mayors Breed, Liccardo and Schaaf Reflect on Their Leadership in Conversation with SPUR's CEO, Alicia John-Baptiste
SPUR recently convened the mayors of the three largest cities in the region to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their communities. Each described how they have responded to this crisis, the meaningful policy changes they've implemented and what their vision is for long-term recovery that addresses systemic racism and provides inclusive economic opportunity.