Since 2011, I have managed print and online publications for SPUR, an urban planning public policy group in the San Francisco Bay Area. I work with policy experts to shape their writing and communicate their research and recommendations to elected officials, government, thought leaders and the public.
This visionary initiative invited the people of the Bay Area to imagine what the region could look like in the year 2070. SPUR envisioned an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region where all people thrive and proposed bold ideas for getting there. The three-year project resulted in more than two dozen policy reports and over 170 recommendations.
Entering 2020, no one could have anticipated the events that were about to unfold. SPUR sought solutions in its core areas — housing, transportation and the environment — and staked out new ground, initiating a policy practice in economic justice. This year’s annual report captured both the stark reality of the pandemic and a vision for structural changes that will allow the Bay Area’s cities — and their people — to thrive in the future.
As more and more Bay Area residents find themselves without homes, many have defaulted to living in public parks, plazas and squares. For other users of these spaces, the presence of unhoused residents renders them unwelcoming or even unsafe. How might we design and manage public space for coexistence, so that people of all backgrounds can find joy, belonging and safety there?
In 2020, SPUR expanded its voter guide to include all state propositions and local measures in San Francisco, San José and Oakland. SPUR researched 35 measures, weighed the pros and cons of each and considered their equity impacts in order to provide guidance on how to vote.