Integrating Planning With Nature

Building climate resilience across the urban-to-rural gradient

Policy Brief

Over the next century, the San Francisco Bay Area is poised to 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. Despite appearing to be disparate, these problems are deeply interrelated and planning across traditionally siloed sectors will be necessary to generate effective cross-cutting solutions. Bay Area communities are now poised to make key policy and planning decisions in response to housing needs, other development and climate change. The moment is ripe to infuse science and nature-based remedies and considerations into the deliberations.

With funding from the Donor Circle for the Environment, SPUR engaged in a novel cross-sector collaborative partnership with the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. Our goal was to propose an integrated set of nature-based solutions for Bay Area regional planners addressing the challenges of growth and climate impacts shared across urban and rural planning sectors.

The resulting report, Integrating Planning With Nature, outlines how nature-based solutions in rural and urban landscapes can maximize our communities' preparedness for future climate conditions while providing a wide variety of benefits to people and ecosystems.