A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Coming Soon: The SPUR Regional Strategy

Three years ago, SPUR undertook an initiative to envision a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Bay Area for all and propose the bold strategies needed to get there. On May 13, we will release the completed SPUR Regional Strategy, providing a clear vision for the region’s next 50 years.

Can Automated Speed Safety Systems Advance Racial and Economic Equity?

Automated speed safety systems are in place in more than 150 communities around the United States. Such systems offer the potential to reduce traffic violence and establish a more equitable framework of traffic enforcement. But those outcomes are not guaranteed. Achieving them requires thoughtful planning and design, an opportunity that California now has as legislators consider Assembly Bill 550, which would authorize a 5-year speed safety camera pilot program in six California cities.

Welcome New SPUR Board Members

SPUR has welcomed 13 new members to its board of directors. These new appointees bring extensive knowledge in planning, housing, transportation, economic justice, good government, food and agriculture, sustainability and resilience to the organization’s leadership. We look forward to their advisership as we continue our work to make the Bay Area a place where everyone can thrive.

Managing Wildfire Risk and New Development

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.

Double Up Food Bucks Stood Tall in 2020

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.

Remembering Al Baum

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 View from Sacramento: State Legislators Share Their Priorities for the Coming Year

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.

Giving Buses Priority on the Bay Bridge Will Improve Access and Equity

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.

SPUR Welcomes Fred Buzo as San José Director

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.”

California Must Seize the Opportunity to Improve Health for Less

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.