Sustainability and Resilience

Our goal: Eliminate carbon emissions and make communities resilient to climate change.

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Eliminate the use of fossil fuel in buildings.

• Secure sufficient funding and evolve public institutions to prepare the Bay Area for sea level rise and flooding, with a focus on communities of color.

• Ensure that the Bay Area has safe, reliable and sufficient water to accommodate growth and help natural ecosystems thrive.

• Propose strategies to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis, including wildfire, drought and sea level rise.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • SPUR Report

    Safety First: Improving Hazard Resilience in the Bay Area

    The San Francisco Bay Area is both a treasured place and a hazardous environment where flooding, wildfires and earthquakes are common today. As a region exposed to multiple hazards, how can we manage for all of them at the same time?

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  • SPUR Report

    San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas

    The San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas, a joint effort by SPUR and the San Francisco Estuary Institute, proposes a science-based framework for using nature to plan for climate adaptation in the Bay Area. It is the first research to come out of the SPUR Regional Strategy, an initiative to plan for the Bay Area of 2070.

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  • SPUR Report

    Fossil-Free Bay Area

    California has the most ambitious climate policy framework in the world, and the San Francisco Bay Area has the resources, political temperament and innovative spirit to demonstrate how to eliminate fossil fuel use. This means ending our dependence on petroleum and natural gas and powering our buildings and transportation system with renewables like solar and wind. We can prototype ways to become fossil-free, modeling them for cities and urban regions around the world.

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  • Ongoing Initiative

    The Resilient City

    We know that another major earthquake will strike San Francisco — we just don’t know when. Since 2008, SPUR has led a comprehensive effort to retrofit the buildings and infrastructure that sustain city life. Our Resilient City Initiative recommends steps the city should take before, during and after the next big quake.

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  • SPUR Report

    Future-Proof Water

    Most of the Bay Area’s water is imported from outside the region. Today these supplies are regularly threatened by drought, earthquakes and other risks — all of which will intensify with future climate change. Meanwhile, our region of 7 million people will add 2 million more by 2040. Do we have the water we need as we grow?

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  • Ongoing Initiative

    Ocean Beach Master Plan

    Ocean Beach, one of San Francisco’s most treasured landscapes, faces significant challenges. Since 2010, SPUR has led an extensive interagency and public process to develop the Ocean Beach Master Plan, a comprehensive vision to address sea level rise, protect infrastructure, restore coastal ecosystems and improve public access.

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Updates and Events

Keeping the Water On

SPUR Report January 14, 2021
Due to COVID-19, Governor Newsom has issued a moratorium on shutting off water service when people can’t pay their bills. But eventually, customers who have fallen behind will face either paying a large lump sum or losing water service. SPUR proposes a combination of solutions that can prevent shutoffs for vulnerable families while preserving the financial health of water agencies.

SPUR leads Bay Area coalition in support of state legislation streamlining sustainable development

Policy Letter December 16, 2020
SPUR supports Senate Bill 7, the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021, which would extend for four years the end date of the AB 900 Environmental Leadership Development Projects program. This provides expedited CEQA administrative and judicial review for projects with a minimum investment of $100 million that are certified LEED Gold or better and more.

California Legislators Introduce New Bills as 2021 Session Kicks Off

News December 15, 2020
Last Monday, the California State Legislature convened to swear in members and introduce the first bills of the 2021-2022 legislative session. Here’s a round-up of notable bills that have already been introduced, including some key bills SPUR will be tracking.

Integrating Planning With Nature

SPUR Report December 15, 2020
Over the next century, the San Francisco Bay Area will face three major challenges: adapting to a changing climate, adding infill development to accommodate a growing population, and maintaining natural and working lands in the face of development pressure. A new report outlines how nature-based solutions can maximize community preparedness for future climate conditions while providing a wide variety of benefits to people and ecosystems.

Bold Moves on Building Electrification in the San Francisco Bay Area

News December 9, 2020
The Bay Area’s three largest cities made headlines recently when they passed bold new rules to phase out fossil fuels in buildings. San José, San Francisco and Oakland now have plans to make most new construction all-electric. These actions will make the air cleaner to breathe and slash the region’s contributions to climate change.

SPUR Supports the Expansion of San José's Natural Gas Prohibition Ordinance

Policy Letter December 3, 2020
In 2019, San José showed extraordinary climate leadership in prohibiting natural gas in new residential construction, joining a regional movement to decarbonize the built environment. Electrifying buildings brings multiple benefits: it reduces San José’s climate emissions and increases energy resilience in the face of increasing wildfire threats. All-electric buildings eliminate the air pollutants from natural gas combustion and are more cost-effective to build.

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