A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

One Step Closer to Expanding Healthy Food Incentives in California

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.

Downtown San José’s Momentum Slowed but Not Stopped

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.

Silicon Valley Roundtable: Recovering From the Pandemic Means Addressing Systemic Injustice

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.

Why the Bay Area Struggles with Transit Project Delivery, and How to Fix It

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.

Six Ways to Better Deliver Benefits and Feed Hungry Californians

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.

Remembering John K. Stewart

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.

Good Food for All: San Francisco Hospitals and Jails Commit to Improve Food Purchasing

Two years after beginning an assessment of their food purchasing practices, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Health will start aligning these practices with standards set by the Center for Good Food Purchasing program. The goal is to leverage the agencies’ significant purchasing power by making choices that will improve the environment and human health.