May 2011 News
SPUR releases major report on climate adaptation
On May 4 SPUR released a major report, " Climate Change Hits Home," that lays out what the Bay Area must do to start preparing for the coming effects of climate change. Coverage of the report appeared on KQED radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Bay Citizen, the San Francisco Examiner, KGO and KRON TV. This report represents a turning point for SPUR: we have long worked to stop climate change, but now we are also addressing the reality that some climate change is inevitable, despite our best efforts. By 2050, we'll have nearly eight times as many dangerously hot days as we did in the 20th century. Sea levels are expected to rise 55 inches by 2100. And we need to start readying our railroads, highways, water supply, public health infrastructure and energy grid for the changes to come. This is the first report to map out the specific actions that Bay Area governments need to take to protect our lifelines.
Read the full report>>
Board of Supervisors refines tax exclusion for stock options
SPUR advocated this month for two payroll tax proposals that could help keep businesses from leaving San Francisco as they grow, while cautioning that the City cannot continue to create special exceptions to retain companies like Twitter. Read more >>
Weigh in on the future of Ocean Beach
SPUR's Ocean Beach Master Plan team, agency partners and community advisors are hard at work analyzing different approaches for addressing erosion, sea-level rise, ecology and infrastructure at the beach. On Saturday, June 4, we invite the public to weigh in on these alternative scenarios as we work toward a preferred approach in the coming months. Please join us and share your ideas about the future of this important resource. Time and location will be announced at spur.org/oceanbeach.
Read our Ocean Beach article in the Urbanist>>
Pension reform debate shapes up
The pension reform debate came into clearer focus this month with the number of proposals increasing and the proposals themselves becoming more similar to each other. SPUR continues to advocate a consensus proposal that addresses the entirety of the City's pension and retiree healthcare costs.
Wall Street Journal profiles Gabriel Metcalf
The Wall Street Journal interviewed SPUR executive director Gabriel Metcalfabout the Bay Area's most formidable planning challenges. Metcalf identified suburban sprawl as the single biggest challenge facing the region. "Because of the Bay Area's antigrowth policies, the Central Valley is slowly but surely being paved over for suburban sprawl," he told the Journal. "I want it to be easier to get a good project approved in San Francisco than a sprawl subdivision out at the edge of the region."
Read the interview>>
SPUR now offers AICP CM credits
Attention certified planners: you can now earn AICP credits at SPUR! We have partnered with the Northern Section of the APA California Chapter to offer AICP Certification Maintenance credits at selected SPUR forums. The next forum where credits will be offered is " Paying for regional transit: Transit Sustainability Project update" on Thursday, May 19th at 12:30 p.m.
Check our listings for future AICP credit events>>
SPUR seeks web developer
Apply on our website>>
Opening Party: Adapt! Climate Change Hits Home
Wednesday, May 18, 6-8 p.m.
SPUR Urban Center Gallery
Tickets available at door: $10-$20 sliding scale admission
We have known about the perils of climate change for more than two decades. But global efforts to slow it down by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions have largely failed. Although we must do everything in our power to stop climate change, some of its impacts are now inevitable. Climate change adaptation -- preparing for heat waves, drought, and sea level rise -- is now essential.
In this exhibition, SPUR surveys the likely impacts of climate change to the San Francisco Bay Area, which will worsen over the next 100 years and beyond.
Save the Date! Dine + Discover: a benefit for SPURDine + Discover is an opportunity for us to celebrate the city we love and support SPUR as one of San Francisco's most valuable organizations. This year we bring the event to Mission Bay, home of UCSF, the Giants, Salesforce and the city's emerging biotech cluster. The Mission Creek Park Pavilion will provide a beautiful backdrop for the event as we dine on cuisine from a select group of locally celebrated chefs.
Buy tickets or sponsored tickets>>
Save the Date! SPUR Member Party
Thursday, July 14 5:00 p.m.
SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, San Francisco
The SPUR Member Party is where all spheres of SPUR membership meet, mingle and celebrate city life -- from Young Urbanists to business members to individual members who support SPUR's mission. The event will take place on the three themed floors in the Urban Center, extending onto neighboring Annie Alley for a street party. This event is not to be missed -- last year it drew over 1,500 people! Stay tuned for our line up of DJs and local artisanal food providers.
Upcoming programsTuesday, May 10, 2011
Surfing requires keen observation of coastal processes and a deep and specific engagement with the landscape. At Ocean Beach, where SPUR is working to develop a long-term vision plan, no one is more aware of the complex forces shaping the coastline than the local surfing community. They are users, stewards and passionate advocates on behalf of the open coast. Join Bill McLaughlin of the San Francisco chapter of the Surfrider Foundation at Ocean Beach, where he will help us interpret the seasonal patterns underlying the local winds, waves, currents and shoreline.Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Representatives from San Francisco Architectural Heritage will present the group's new book, Port City. The book's author, Michael Corbett, will discuss the rich history of the port and its role in shaping San Francisco. Heritage Executive Director Mike Buhler will detail the transformation of the waterfront and the current context of its redevelopment, including what lies ahead with the coming America's Cup event. Q&A and a book signing will follow.
Books will be available for purchase from William Stout Annex at the event, 10% discount for SPUR members.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The climate is changing, and how we cope with reduced snowpack in the Sierras, rising sea levels on the edges of the Bay and changing weather patterns will dramatically affect planning in our region. SPUR'snew report on climate change adaptation reflects two years of work evaluating climate change impacts and policies, and includes recommendations for how the Bay Area can prepare. Join Laura Tamof SPUR, Steve Goldbeck of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Miriam Rotkin-Ellman of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Xantha Bruso of PG&E and other study participants to discuss what the future may hold and how we should plan ahead.Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In 2004, San Francisco voters passed a resolution requiring San Francisco to update its economic development strategy every three years. The first strategy was completed in 2008, before the worst of the current recession. As we recover from the recent economic challenges, what industries are leading that recovery? How will this affect the City's budget outlook? Join the strategy's lead author and San Francisco chief economist, Ted Egan, and director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development,Jennifer Matz, whose staff will be tasked with implementing the strategy's recommendations.Wednesday, May 18, 2011
San Francisco Public Library's Branch Library Improvement Program was designed to respond to the current and future needs of library users. Flexible floor plans, multiuse spaces, innovative responses to technological advances and a commitment to sustainable building practices shaped the development of the City's plans for 24 renovated or new libraries. As library systems nationwide react to the changes of an increasingly digital and diverse society, San Francisco Public Library is responding with facilities that truly serve their unique neighborhood communities, now and in the future. Find out all that SFPL has accomplished in its momentous capital improvement program and what is planned for the next generation of library services in this forum led by San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera.Thursday, May 19, 2011
The Bay Area's seven biggest transit agencies constitute a $2 billion annual system. Costs are increasing while revenues are flat or declining. In 2010, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission launched a multi-year project to analyze the cost structure of the transit system, explore significant financial challenges affecting its future and propose major changes to put the system on a more sustainable financial footing. Get an update on this important regional project from Carolyn Clevenger of the MTC and Tony Bruzzone of Arup.
SPUR is now offering AICP CM credits on select events.
AICP CM: 1 credit
This event is co-sponsored by the APA Northern California SectionTuesday, May 24, 2011
To celebrate the first annual "Made in San Francisco Week," join us for an exploration of the role artisan manufacturing plays in San Francisco's local economy and as a path to self-sufficiency for craftspeople. We will visit Tech Shop, a newly opened membership-based workshop offering access to tools, equipment and instruction; Bonton, one of San Francisco's remaining contract sewing factories; and several other SOMA-based artisan manufacturers. We will discuss the role manufacturing has played in SOMA and in the City, examine the impact of recent zoning changes, and consider the potential for "making" to continue to inform the local economy. Led by Kate Sofis of SFMade, a local non-profit launched in 2010 focusing on supporting and developing San Francisco's manufacturing sector.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Join SPUR's Young Urbanists for this special evening tour. Amy Ressof Public Architecture and Judy Nemzoff from the San Francisco Arts Commission will lead a lively happy hour at Showdogs, followed by a walk through the burgeoning cultural arts district of Central Market Street. On foot, we will stop by Lights on Market Street, three large-scale site-specific installations by artists Jim Campbell, Paul Notzold and Theo Watson. The tour will continue with exploration of Art in Storefronts -- art installations by San Francisco artists that bring vitality to vacant and under-used storefront windows. Have these and other arts efforts made an impact on the revitalization of this challenged stretch of Market Street? The group will meet with arts-community and neighborhood stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges of organizing public art. This event is generously sponsored by the Koret Foundation.
Happy hour: 7 p.m. Showdogs (1020 Market Street) This portion of the event is open to members and non-members. There is no need to RSVP.
Tour: 8 - 9 p.m. You must RSVP for this portion (free for members, $20 for non-members). Space is limited, so please register only if you are able to attend.Wednesday, May 25, 2011
It's been nearly two years since Mayor Gavin Newsom issued his Executive Directive on Food, mandating healthier food options and access to local food sources for residents. Paula Jones, director of Food Systems at San Francisco's Department of Public Health, Eli Zigas of Cultivate SF, and Francesca Vietor, President of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Principal Consultant to Ecoworks, will discuss the status of work that grew out of the directive and potential directions for local food policy in the coming year.Tuesday, May 31, 2011
San Francisco Department of the Environment has been working on an update to the City's 2004 Climate Action Plan, which will be completed this spring and contains ways for the city to reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution emissions. Find out what's new in this briefing from SF Environment Director Melanie Nutter and Climate Action Plan coordinator Calla Ostrander.Tuesday, May 31, 2011
In conjunction with the release of his first book, Cityscapes: San Francisco and its Buildings, San Francisco Chronicle urban design criticJohn King will talk about "10 ways to look at a city" -- everything from cultural battlefields to architectural collage, art exhibitions and measuring rods. Join us for a discussion about what's taking shape in the year ahead, both in the skyline and along the street.
Books will be available for purchase from William Stout Annex at the event, 10% discount for SPUR members.
Best of the blogA new app helps drivers find parking -- and could even make us less dependent on car-based development.Planner Peter Calthorpe and Save the Bay's David Lewis debate the merits of the proposed Saltworks development in Redwood City.
Call for volunteers
Call for Urban Field Notes contributors
Calling all urban explorers! Contribute to Urban Field Notes, SPUR's additive archive of cultural landscapes and observations. Detail your exploration of a landscape that fascinates you through images and words. Pitch your idea by sending 3 to 4 sample images with a paragraph about your proposed exploration. Accepted submissions will be published in an upcoming issue of the Urbanist and on the SPUR blog. Contact Urban Field Notes curator Ruth Keffer firstname.lastname@example.org and see published UFN submissions at spur.org/ufn.