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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Public Life Should Become the Focus of San José's Business-Recovery Strategy

May 20, 2020 By Michelle Huttenhoff, Placemaking and Public Life Policy Director
As shelter-in-place orders are relaxed, Bay Area cities must balance public health and safety with equitable and creative approaches to economic recovery. SPUR recommends four steps to make public life the focus of San José’s recovery strategy.

COVID-19 Does Not Have to Be the Death of Transit

May 13, 2020 By Laura Tolkoff, Regional Planning Policy Director 
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a profound threat to the future of transit. It’s hard to speculate how the future will play out when the world today looks so different from the one we inhabited just two months ago. But one thing is certain: We will still need transit.

SPUR’s COVID-19 Coverage and Response

May 13, 2020
SPUR is developing recommendations regarding the many policy issues arising in the Bay Area with the outbreak of COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders. Here are the resources, events, articles, and policy letters SPUR has produced so far.

Sheltering in Place Reveals How Much Parking Dominates Our Cities — and Lives

April 27, 2020 By Michelle Huttenhoff, Michael Lane and Amanda Ryan
Shelter in place has made it starkly evident just how much space cities allocate to cars and parking. The City of San José is currently considering changes to the amount of parking it requires of new development. All of this makes it a good time to unpack the many ways that parking impacts neighborhoods and quality of life.

Close Off Some Streets — for the Health of the Public

April 27, 2020 By Robert Ogilvie, Harold Goldstein and Mary A. Pittman
The mayors of the region should follow Oakland’s lead and close some streets to through traffic to create space for walking and biking. By making it safer for us to be outside in a socially distant way, “slow streets” help us combat another public health crisis: chronic diseases caused by inactivity. They also equalize the opportunity to be outside for communities that lack open space.

Bay Area COVID-19 Housing Resources

April 8, 2020
Homebuilders, residents, housing advocates, city staff and elected officials across the Bay Area are working to understand the fluid and challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders. SPUR and partner groups have created a database of up-to-date information and resources about finding and staying in housing, planning, construction and more.

The Magic of Empty Streets

April 8, 2020 By Allison Arieff, Editorial Director
Writing in The New York Times, SPUR's Allison Arieff reflects on the opportunity COVID-19 presents to fix our cities: "Ultimately, what we really need to figure out is how the world gets put back together. Our new COVID-19 reality shows that behavior can change. It is also, however, making it glaringly apparent how poorly existing systems (and places) have been working for most."

This Crisis Is an Opportunity to Build a Stronger and More Affordable Region

April 8, 2020 By Sarah Karlinsky, Senior Advisor
The COVID pandemic has highlighted a fundamental truth: Housing insecurity is a threat to our society — both at the height of the market and during crises like this one. By understanding what caused Bay Area housing prices to escalate over the past decade, and how that changed who can and can’t afford to live here, the region can make a course correction.

How Policymakers Can Keep Food Flowing and on the Table During This Pandemic

April 6, 2020 By Diego Ortiz, Eli Zigas and Katie Ettman
Only a couple of weeks into shelter-in-place orders, COVID-19's impact on the economy is crashing down on us. To keep food flowing and avoid historic levels of hunger, SPUR recommends 14 steps that policymakers at the local, state and federal level can, and should, take immediately.

Bail Out People and the Planet, but Don’t Bail Out Polluters

March 23, 2020 By Nick Josefowitz, Director of Policy
Congress is considering an almost two trillion dollar relief package to help those impacted by COVID-19 and jumpstart the economy. As part of this stimulus package, the Trump Administration is considering a multi-billion dollar bailout for Big Oil and Big Coal. Instead, Congress should use this stimulus to lay the foundations for shared economic prosperity founded in a clean and restorative economy.

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