• The Urbanist

    Selected articles from our magazine
Issue 571
June 2019 to July 2019

In Pursuit of a Seamless Transit System

What if all transit agencies could provide a great customer experience?
Two new SPUR white papers offer recommendations for an easier-to-use transit map and the implementation of coordinated regional fares. Read More »

Giving Old Infrastructure New Life

What networked rail could mean for the Northern California megaregion.
A fast, frequent megaregional rail network could be transformative for the Bay Area and Northern California. As part of the SPUR Regional Strategy, we are working to identify some of the major changes needed to implement this vision. Read More »

Urban Field Notes: In Search of the Superblock

In Barcelona, the conventional city block is transformed. 
Superblocks (superilles) are designs for a small grid of city streets that prioritize the pedestrian, prohibiting through-traffic and only allowing car access if the driver needs to visit a building located within the zone and at a limited speed. Read More »

Member Profile: Diane Filippi

Bay Area urbanism may have no better booster.
Anyone who meets Diane Filippi will quickly discover she is a force of nature. As the SPUR Urban Center building celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, we wanted to check in with her as she was essential to the project’s success. Read More »

Be Regionable: An Urbanist Poster Campaign

One of the goals of the SPUR Regional Strategy is to help the citizens of the Bay Area to think regionally. So we partnered with TBD* at California College of the Arts, a student-run design studio, to create a series of posters that would inspire people to feel passionately about not just the city they live in but the region we’re all a part of. Read More »
Issue 570
April 2019 to May 2019

A Field Guide to California Urbanism

Five tropes of city life that originated in the Golden State
California might be the most mythologized landscape in existence, from the glossy pools and palm trees of reality TV to the neurosis-inducing freeways and subidivisions of film and literature. But little has been said about urbanism as one of the state’s contributions to the world. A Bay Area writer launches a project to catalog the phenomenon that is California urbanism, one trope at a time. Read More »

San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas

Working with nature to plan for sea level rise
As the climate continues to change, communities will need to adapt the San Francisco Bay shoreline to rising sea levels. But the Bay’s varied landscapes and overlapping jurisdictions make a coordinated response challenging. The San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas proposes a new regional planning framework by dividing the 400-mile Bay shoreline into 30 distinct geographic areas that share common physical characteristics and adaptation strategies. Read More »

Member Profile: Thang Do

For this citizen architect, designing sustainable cities is a moral imperative.
SPUR Board Member Thang Do is an architect and the CEO of Aedis, a design firm working primarily in the education sector. He is also the owner of SoFA Market, a food hall in San Jose’s arts and culture district, and the Fountainhead Bar, an architecture-themed bar inside the market. His love of cities dates back to his childhood memories of Saigon's colonial French architecture. Read More »

Urban Field Notes: The Hawker Centers of Singapore

In this dynamic city, street food takes center stage.
Singapore's population consists of three major ethnic groups plus a large immigrant population. Food plays a crucial role in bringing these different cultures together, and hawker centers — public spaces for street-food vending — are the direct spatial manifestation of this role in the urban fabric. Read More »
Issue 569
February 2019 to March 2019

Bay Area Place Types

As part of its ongoing regional strategy work, SPUR has developed 14 place types to provide a tangible portrait of the region. Read More »

Member Profile: Tina Barseghian

Tina Barseghian has spent her journalism career covering a diverse array of topics from craft to education to travel. A through line to all of these seemingly disparate beats? Cities. Read More »

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