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.

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


SPUR Supports Google’s Downtown West's Proposal

Policy Letter
SPUR enthusiastically supports Google’s Downtown West's proposal to use distributed energy and recycled water systems (also known as district systems), but we also urge San José to ensure that the district systems are well-integrated with the city’s centralized systems for energy and recycled water.

Keeping the Water On

SPUR Report
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.

Where Do We Go From Here? SPUR Sets New Vision and Long-Range Goals

News /
With vaccines rolling out and stable national leadership in place, we can trust that we will, eventually, reemerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The question now is: Reemerge into what? To return to “normal” would be to reembrace a way of living that was neither sustainable nor equitable. To meet this moment, SPUR has articulated a bold vision statement and evolved our organizational mission.

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

Policy Letter
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.