Orange skyline of San Francisco during extreme fires of 2020

Sustainability and Resilience

Our goal: Eliminate carbon emissions and create resilient, environmentally just communities.

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Eliminate the use of fossil fuel in buildings.

Use nature-based solutions to make communities resilient to sea level rise.

Make sure that all people and ecosystems have the water they need to thrive.

Make communities and infrastructure resilient to earthquakes.

 

Read our policy agenda

computer rendering of a concrete creek channel that has been converted to public space, with a bike path, trees and people sitting on concrete steps in the creek bed,

SPUR Report

Watershed Moments

Climate scientists predict that California will experience longer, more frequent droughts as the climate warms. How can the Bay Area better manage the limited water it has? SPUR, Greenbelt Alliance and Pacific Institute teamed up to highlight six Northern California leaders who are pioneering more sustainable approaches to water use.
City streets and buildings next to waterfront. Wooden poles stick up from the water.

SPUR Report

Water for a Growing Bay Area

The Bay Area is projected to add 2 million jobs and as many as 6.8 million people in the next 50 years. But can we add more jobs and build more housing without using more water? New research from SPUR and the Pacific Institute says yes.

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?

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.

Black and white photo of a sink faucet running water

Article

Lessons Learned From California’s COVID-19 Water Debt Relief Program

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Legislature established the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program to provide financial relief for unpaid water bills. But water affordability struggles won’t end with the pandemic. The state will need to build upon its first experiment with water bill assistance to weather ongoing climate change and income inequality. SPUR investigates the success of the $985 million program and looks at lessons learned.

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.

Updates and Events


Proposed “Parking Cash-Out” Bill Aims to Level the Commute Playing Field for Non-Drivers

News /
A bill to give California commuters more options for sustainable transportation is getting strong support. Assembly Bill 2206 would make it easier for employers to implement a California law known as parking cash-out, which requires companies that provide free employee parking to offer the cash equivalent to those who choose not to drive to work. SPUR explored the benefits of parking cash-out at a digital discourse earlier this year.

Setting California’s Clean Appliance Timeline

Research
California has set out to be carbon-neutral by 2045. To help meet this goal, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has proposed deadlines for ending the sale of gas furnaces, boilers and water heaters — but are they soon enough? SPUR’s research found that the proposed dates would transition roughly 90% of households to electric appliances by 2045. But to fully meet its climate goals, California will need to pair new sales standards with substantial incentives.

Lessons Learned From California’s COVID-19 Water Debt Relief Program

News /
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Legislature established the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program to provide financial relief for unpaid water bills. But water affordability struggles won’t end with the pandemic. The state will need to build upon its first experiment with water bill assistance to weather ongoing climate change and income inequality. SPUR investigates the success of the $985 million program and looks at lessons learned.

How to Make California’s Budget Surplus a Good Deal for the Climate

News /
California is dangerously behind on cutting carbon emissions, but this year’s budget surplus can be a weapon in the fight to address climate change, with Governor Newsom announcing plans to spend $37 billion over the next six years on climate resilience. Here are SPUR’s suggestions for how to focus those resources on eliminating fossil fuels in buildings, securing safe and abundant water, ending car dependence, improving transit, building affordable housing where we need it and more.