The Urbanist

Selected articles from our magazine

Issue 566 August to September 2018

Four Future Scenarios for the San Francisco Bay Area

Planning for the region in the year 2070

This report, the first product of the SPUR Regional Strategy, uses a scenario planning process to look at four uncertainties that the Bay Area will contend with over the next 50 years: the economy, housing, transportation and the physical form that growth takes. The resulting scenarios serve as “myths of the future,” stories that reveal the potential long-term outcomes of choices the region makes today.

Urban Field Notes: Kinky Streets

(or the Value of the Near Distance)

San Franciscans love their views to the far distance: to the ocean, the bay or the hills, to the Ferry Building or Twin Peaks. But the author's favorite San Francisco vistas are closer in, along the kinky, misaligned streets meeting at the Market Street backbone, where the FiDi north grid and the SOMA south grid meet in wonderfully inconvenient ways.

Member Profile: Cedric Brown

From STEM to Startup, working to make tech more inclusive.

Cedric Brown first got interested in cities as a young boy, when his grandmother took him along on errands in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Today, he works closely on initiatives with SPUR in his role as chief of community engagement for the Kapor Center, an organization working to demystify the tech sector by removing barriers to entry.
Issue 565 July 2018

Designing a More Resilient Bay Area

Nine designs. Nine opportunities to create a more resilient Bay Area.

The year-long Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge brought together local residents, public officials, designers and engineers to develop innovative proposals that can strengthen the Bay Area’s resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, earthquakes and flooding. The nine final design concepts are meant to inspire, catalyze action and push us all along the path to a more resilient future.

Making Healthy Eating a Snap

The results of SPUR’s Double Up Food Bucks pilot program show that healthy food incentives work.

SPUR's Double Up Food Bucks makes fruits and vegetables more affordable for low-income families while increasing revenue for both grocers and California farmers. After its first year in operation, survey results show that families are buying and eating more fruits and vegetables — and stretching their food budgets further — thanks to the program.

Member Profile: Savlan Hauser

An architect adapts her work in Oakland to focus not just on plans but people.

Savlan Hauser’s first interest in cities was an economic one. She grew up in Redding, California, and though, as she explains, it’s “a beautiful spot,” it has, like many American cities, seen its main street decimated by the onslaught of big-box stores at the fringes of town.

Urban Field Notes: Creating Space for Those Doing Good

Yet another group scrambling for space in the Bay Area? Nonprofits.

As real estate prices continue to climb throughout the region, many nonprofits are feeling the pinch and confronting potential displacement from the communities they serve. One mitigation to this challenge — and one that strengthens organizations — is the nonprofit center, a model for shared facilities that look to achieve affordable, stable occupancy for the organizations they serve.
Issue 564 May to June 2018

The Urgency to Achieve an Inclusive Economy in the Bay Area

The latest tech boom has stretched the Bay Area’s income inequality gap to its widest level in decades. Can we figure out how to ensure that this growth is created by, and benefits, all workers and families?

The latest tech boom has stretched the Bay Area’s income inequality gap to its widest level in decades. Can we figure out how to ensure that this growth is created by, and benefits, all workers and families?

Member Profile: Jeff Wood

Think you’re obsessed with buses and trains? Meet the author of the Overhead Wire.

Geographer and city planner Jeff Wood's eagerness to learn about mapping and data analysis led to the blog, The Overhead Wire.