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Three big urban planning moves that could transform San Francisco.
Highway 280, the Caltrain railyards and plans for high-speed rail create barriers between San Francisco's SoMa, Potrero Hill and Mission Bay neighborhoods. But San Francisco has the opportunity to advance bold new ideas that enhance both our transportation system and the public realm.Read The Report
How a stronger regional food system improves the Bay Area
The Bay Area’s food system supports our greenbelt, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and helps reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. SPUR's latest report recommends a series of policies to help us more effectively capture the benefits of our regional food system.Read The Report
Where the Bay Area should get its water in the 21st century
More than two-thirds of the Bay Area’s water is imported from outside the region. Today these supplies are regularly threatened by drought, earthquakes and water quality impairments — risks that will intensify with climate change. Meanwhile, our region will add 2 million more people by 2040 — growth that will require more water. Do we have the water we need to support this projected growth?Read The Report
How good land use planning can prepare the Bay Area for a strong disaster recovery
When a major earthquake strikes the Bay Area, it could take months to reestablish essential services and years to rebuild. Good land use planning will be crucial to a successful recovery. If we make needed regulatory changes now, we will have the tools we need to rebuild our cities, and our region, after the earthquake strikes.Read The Report
A comprehensive vision for a more sustainable future on San Francisco’s Pacific coast
As climate-induced sea level rise sets in, erosion at San Francisco's Ocean Beach will continue to worsen. Working with government agencies, community stakeholders and the public, SPUR has developed a landmark climate adaptation and open space plan to address issues at Ocean Beach. The plan recommends six key moves for managing a changing coastline, protecting critical sewer infrastructure and upgrading public access to the beach.Read The Report
Expanding the use of public land for urban agriculture in San Francisco
Urban agriculture has captured the imagination of San Franciscans in recent years. But the city won't realize all the benefits of this growing interest unless it provides more land, more resources and better institutional support.Read The Report
Adjusting county and city representation at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Ever since regional government was first proposed for the Bay Area after World War II, leaders have debated the best model for governing a growing region. The basic structure for regional transportation planning and funding has not changed since the Metropolitan Transportation Commission was formed in 1970. Currently, counties seats on the MTC are not evenly distributed. SPUR recommends reforms to make representation more equitable.Read The Report
What will it take for San Franciscans to live safely in their homes after an earthquake?
What will it take for San Franciscans to live safely in their homes after an earthquake? We believe the city should take steps now to ensure that, after a major earthquake, most residents can “shelter in place” — or, stay in their own homes while they are being repaired.Read The Report
How denser, more urban workplaces will strengthen the Bay Area’s economic competitiveness
As the Bay Area’s economy changes, many firms are finding they need the vibrancy and density of an urban-style environment in order to collaborate, innovate and stay competitive. There is a strong link between density and job growth. In fact, we believe that locating jobs closer to transit — and closer to one another — will be key to the Bay Area’s long-term economic growth.Read The Report
Funding public parks in a challenging financial climate
Image courtesy Flickr user ShawnaScottPhoto San Francisco’s parks are among the city’s most treasured assets — but they’re also in serious financial trouble. The city’s Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) has lost more than 25 percent of its General Fund revenue in just five years. Meanwhile, labor costs have gone up 34 percent. This mix of factors has forced the department to make dramatic cuts. The RPD has lost 150 staff positions in the past seven years, and deferred maintenance costs have reached $1.4 billion. The RPD’s current annual budget is $127.9 million. SPUR’s task force found that the department needs an additional $30 to $35 million each year in order to retain 24-hour safety patrols, maintain the health of park trees and plants, and keep facilities open and programs operating. In this SPUR Report, we offer 11 recommendations to stabilize current funding and fill the additional need using three...Read The Report
Adaptation strategies for the San Francisco Bay Area
Global efforts to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions have largely failed. As a result we must not only intensify our efforts to reduce climate change but start preparing for its inevitable effects. In this report, SPUR recommends more than 30 strategies for local and regional agencies to begin minimizing the region’s vulnerabilities to these long-term but potentially catastrophic effects.Read The Report
What will it take to green the buildings we already have?
New green construction codes are important, but in a built-out city like San Francisco, retrofitting our existing built environment is key to creating a truly sustainable city. SPUR recommends creating a web-based tool that will educate property owners and increase awareness of the many free incentive and rebate programs currently available in San Francisco.Read The Report
How smart land-use planning around future high-speed rail can reshape California's growth
For the 26 California cities designated as future high-speed rail stops, the new statewide system presents a once-in-a-century opportunity to reshape their local economies and set the course for more compact, less automobile-dependent growth. Beyond the Tracks identifies specific land-use planning strategies that will contribute to the success of high-speed rail and help cities, and ultimately California, realize the full potential of the multi-billion-dollar system.Read The Report
Rebuilding our transportation infrastructure
After a major disaster, our transportation infrastructure could be severely damaged. How are we going to get around in the weeks and months after an earthquake, if one or more of our regional transportation links fails? Who should lead the recovery effort? And what can we do now to make our roads, bridges and tunnels more resilient?Read The Report
A new approach to business attraction and retention in San Francisco
San Francisco has successfully adjusted to many economic changes in its past, but the city's economic development system is not yet working as well as it needs to. The city faces a major question about how to organize and pay for economic development work. This memorandum explores what the appropriate model should be for carrying out business formation, retention and attraction in San Francisco.Read The Report
San Francisco can fight global warming through smart changes to local policy. What can we do to lead the way?
In the fight against global warming, there are many things San Francisco can do. In this report, SPUR evaluated 42 options for the city to reduce carbon emissions in San Francisco and the Bay Area.Read The Report