Orange skyline of San Francisco during extreme fires of 2020

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 our policy agenda

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?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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


Does the Bay Area Have the Water It Needs to Grow?

News /
Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a drought emergency, salmon are on the brink of extinction and rivers are choked with toxic algae because too much water is diverted for farms and cities. Does the Bay Area really have enough water to continue to grow? We found that the answer is yes — if the region adopts comprehensive water efficiency measures and smart land-use planning.

Water for a Growing Bay Area

SPUR Report
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. We can use the same amount of water — or even less — if we invest in efficiency measures, pursue compact land use and commit to better mechanisms to share water regionally.

SPUR Supports Strategies to Reduce Miles Driven in State's Mobile Source Strategy

Policy Letter
SPUR joins with a ClimatePlan-led coalition in support of the strategies and recommendations to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and the strategies that implement the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI), in the California Air Resources Board's proposed Mobile Source Strategy (MSS).

SPUR Supports Expansion of Onsite Water Reuse in San Francisco

Policy Letter
SPUR supports the proposed ordinance to expand San Francisco's reliance on onsite water reuse. The proposed ordinance lowers the minimum square footage for new buildings required to construct onsite water reuse systems.

Progress on Keeping the Water Flowing

News /
Making sure everyone can afford clean water has long been an issue, but the economic hardships of COVID-19 have exacerbated the problem. SPUR addressed water bill debt in the wake of the pandemic in our January 2021 policy brief Keeping the Water On. Since the publication of the brief, state and local policy on water affordability and sustainability has made progress, which we discussed in a recent SPUR Digital Discourse.