Issue 575 Spring 2020
Cities in a Post-Pandemic World
SPUR is hard at work developing policies to address the COVID-19 crisis
SPUR was founded over 100 years ago to help San Francisco rebuild after the 1906 earthquake. Now, as then, SPUR’s job is to help the region recover from a crisis and emerge more resilient, more sustainable, more equitable and more prosperous. We are calling this work Rising Together.
The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us something extraordinarily important: We are part of a collective whole and our individual actions determine the health of that whole. This is an opportunity to develop our understanding of our interdependence and exercise our collective action muscle. To do this effectively, there are practices we can put in place right now, even before we begin post-pandemic rebuilding.
Physically Distant but Still Together: How Cities in the Bay Area and Beyond Will Survive the Coronavirus
Thanks to COVID-19, life in the Bay Area is very different than it was only a week ago. Our cities have a lot to learn from the current situation, and a lot to teach as well. The following are some lessons that we at SPUR are taking from the pandemic, which we hope will help guide future thinking and policymaking.
Only a couple of weeks into shelter-in-place orders, COVID-19's impact on the economy is crashing down on us. To keep food flowing and avoid historic levels of hunger, SPUR recommends 14 steps that policymakers at the local, state and federal level can, and should, take immediately.
Improving hazard resilience in the Bay Area
The Bay Area is both a treasured place and a hazardous environment where flooding, wildfires and earthquakes are common today. These hazards are likely to become more frequent, larger and more damaging as climate change puts the region’s people, built environment and natural habitats at risk. As a region exposed to multiple hazards, how can we manage for all of them at the same time?
The COVID pandemic has highlighted a fundamental truth: Housing insecurity is a threat to our society — both at the height of the market and during crises like this one. By understanding what caused Bay Area housing prices to escalate over the past decade, and how that changed who can and can’t afford to live here, the region can make a course correction.