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.
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.
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 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.
Improving equitable access, creating a more resilient transit network and delivering on environmental priorities requires faster and more reliable transit travel on the Bay Bridge. A recent SPUR Digital Discourse highlighted AB455, a bill to deliver better, faster fairer bus service across the Bay Bridge. The conversation also highlighted the current state of Bay Bridge transit and tackled the questions why and how to improve transbay bus service.
We are pleased to announce that Fred Buzo will join our team as San José director today. Fred joins SPUR with the desire to bring urban planning and the policy work SPUR is engaged in to everyday people. “All too often, communities are unaware of the importance of land use decisions — decisions that can affect the look and feel of their neighborhoods for decades,” he says. “I am honored that SPUR has asked me to lead its efforts in San José to secure long-term trust and support from diverse stakeholders throughout the city.”
Imagine if insurers paid for the prevention— not just the treatment – of severe medical conditions. What if the health care system could help people improve their health today while also preventing diabetes or reducing the risk of heart attacks tomorrow? With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, the California Department of Health Care Services is working on doing just that.
Long-time SPUR Board Member and former Board Chair Anne Halsted, one of the organization’s great champions and a vital civic leader in the San Francisco Bay Area, passed away on March 13. Anne was a phenomenal woman with a distinguished history of civic engagement, neighborhood activism and mentoring women in their careers.
Metropolitan areas have had a difficult year, navigating concurrent crises from rolling out mass vaccination campaigns, reckoning with impacts of systemic racism and addressing climate change — all while preparing for challenges such as impending evictions and the uncertainty of what the future of work will be. SPUR, Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and New York’s Regional Planning Association believe that there is one urgent priority our federal government can address to help cities jump start their recovery: investing in infrastructure.
Laws that require new buildings to provide a minimum number of parking spaces are undermining California’s investment in affordable housing, public transit and environmental resiliency. A recent SPUR Digital Discourse discussed the state’s role in mitigating the over-parking crisis.