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    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

San Jose Makes a Bold Move to Realize Its Climate Smart Goals

February 13, 2019 By Michelle Huttenhoff, San Jose Policy Director
Since launching Climate Smart San Jose in February 2018, the City of San Jose has been leading the charge to reduce air pollution, conserve water, and create a stronger and healthier community. Recognizing that all sectors need to help meet these goals, city staff proposed an ordinance that would increase commercial building energy efficiency through a transparent open-data benchmarking tool. SPUR strongly supports the ordinance.

Did the Bay Area Reach a “Grand Bargain” to Solve Housing?

January 31, 2019 By Susannah Parsons, Chief of Staff
The Bay Area’s housing shortage and affordability crisis is arguably the greatest threat to its future. In January, the region took an important step forward with the endorsement of the CASA Compact, a grand bargain among dozens of governments and organizations to arrive at real solutions.

Wage Trends Show Increases for Low-Wage Jobs While Middle-Wage Job Growth Slows

January 23, 2019 By Stephen Levy, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, and Egon Terplan, SPUR Regional Planning Director
As part of our research for the SPUR Regional Strategy, we reviewed recent wage and job data to see what types of jobs are growing and how low-wage jobs are faring relative to jobs at higher wage levels.

How the Retirement Wave Will Impact Bay Area Jobs and Workers

January 17, 2019 By Stephen Levy, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy
As part of our research for the SPUR Regional Strategy, we reviewed data projections to 2030 to see what types of jobs are growing and how the coming retirement wave will affect job openings.

2018 Was a Big Year for Federal and State Investment in Healthy Food Incentives

January 7, 2019 By Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
Since 2017, SPUR's Double Up Food Bucks program has helped families eat healthier and stretch their food budgets further while also supporting California farmers. Our program’s success — and that of many others across the country — has garnered the attention and support of elected officials. Policymakers at both the federal and state level dedicated unprecedented amounts of money toward these programs in 2018.

Update: How Did San Francisco Decide to Spend Its Soda Tax Revenue?

January 3, 2019 By Katie Ettman, Food and Agriculture Policy Associate
San Francisco began collecting a soda tax in 2018. While the tax measure didn't allocate revenue to a specific purpose, it did create a process for directing funds to the cause of better public health outcomes. SPUR took a close look at the process and how well it did at achieving the intended aims of the original measure.

Learning to Manage California’s Fire Problem

December 11, 2018 By Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director
Climate change is here today, and after the devastating fires of 2017 and 2018, Californians know it. In 2019, SPUR will be working on a new policy report on the multiple hazards wrought by climate change, including fires and flooding. We now know that land use, planning, building code, forest management and other recommendations may be needed to improve fire resiliency across the Bay Area.

What Will Diridon Station’s Legacy Be?

December 5, 2018 By Nicole Soultanov and Teresa Alvarado
Last month, SPUR convened national and international experts in San Jose to share best practices for planning and building world-class transit stations and active neighborhoods around stations. City officials, transit agencies and civic groups came together to develop the vision for the future Diridon Station and to consider the legacy that today's decisions will create for the project.

Why San Francisco Should Stop Requiring Parking in New Housing

December 3, 2018 By Adhi Nagraj, San Francisco Director, and Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
Housing developers in San Francisco are currently required to provide a minimum amount of parking in new buildings. What if we eliminated those requirements? Then we’d see both lowered housing prices and more efficient use of urban land. Requiring parking brings too many new cars into the city, congesting streets, taking up space needed for more housing and harming the environment.

Six Principles for Pricing Driving to Reduce Congestion, Pollution and Crashes

November 29, 2018 By Sarah Jo Szambelan, Research Manager
Cities and states are proposing policies that would discourage driving by charging for some the costs it imposes on others — namely congestion, pollution, heart and respiratory disease, greenhouse gases and deaths from collisions. It won’t be easy to start pricing something that’s been free for so long. To get the benefits without a backlash, SPUR offers six principles for fair and effective transportation pricing.

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