Sustainability + Resilience News : January 2017
Dear ,
The incoming president and Congress are gearing up to advance federal policies and regulations that undercut much of the progress our country has made on so many issues SPUR works on, not least of which is climate change. To lead the EPA, Trump has nominated someone who has repeatedly sued the agency over climate change policy. To lead the State Department, responsible for representing the country in international climate change negotiations, Trump has nominated the CEO of ExxonMobil. And, to run the Department of Energy, responsible for funding significant amounts of renewable energy research, he has nominated a man who previously called for eradicating that very agency.
In this context, all of us will need to speak up — loudly and often — to safeguard the progress we’ve made and keep momentum in 2017 and beyond.
Our work in California and the Bay Area will be even more important in demonstrating a more sustainable path forward. Governor Jerry Brown has committed to continuing the state’s leadership on climate change, a locally focused approach that many climate experts see as the best option in the coming years.
Here in the Bay Area, we can also continue advancing city and county level policies that improve our region. For instance, we found silver linings post-election in the passage of San Francisco’s street tree measure and soda taxes in San Francisco, Oakland and beyond
With foreboding policy winds at the federal level, if there was ever a time to double down on our local and national advocacy, now is it.
Laura Tam, Sustainability + Resilience Policy Director
Eli Zigas, Food and Agriculture Policy Director
SPUR Sustainability + Resilience News 
California Extends the Most Ambitious Climate Change Law in the United States
Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature extended and strengthened the most ambitious climate change law in the United States in 2016. With existing national climate mandates vulnerable under the incoming federal administration, this kind of state-level leadership is more important than ever.
Read more in The Urbanist >>
Soda Taxes Reach a Tipping Point
The year 2016 will likely be marked as the tipping point for soda taxes. Voters approved soda taxes everywhere they appeared on the ballot this November, while two local legislatures also passed soda taxes this year. Which cities or states will be next?
Read more in The Urbanist >>
Learn more at our forum on January 19 >>
SPUR's Laura Tam Featured on WaterDeeply
SPUR's Sustainability + Resilience Policy Director Laura Tam recently talked about her work on climate change and water in 2016 and her priorities for the new year. Now more than ever, she says, cities must identify local policy solutions that can make the Bay Area more resilient and serve as an example for other cities and regions. 
Read the interview on WaterDeeply >>
San Francisco Adopts Natural Areas Plan
In December, San Francisco’s Planning Commission and Recreation and Park Commission adopted the environmental impact report for the city’s Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan. The plan, in the works for over a decade, outlines management actions to steward San Francisco’s natural heritage and protect habitat for more than 140 sensitive species, including the San Francisco garter snake and the Mission Blue butterfly. It also includes guidelines for educational programs and research. SPUR supported adoption and implementation of the plan through a letter and testimony at the hearing.
Read SPUR's letter of support >>
See why Lisa Wayne, director of the natural areas program, won a Good Government Award in 2014 >>
SPUR’s Mission Creek Sea Level Rise Study in the News
The City of San Francisco and SPUR’s sea level rise adaptation study, which focused on how to protect the city’s Mission Creek and Mission Bay shorelines, was recently featured in Building Design and Construction. The article highlights how the project brought together numerous stakeholders to think big while considering ways to "future-proof" the urban waterfront.
Read more about Mission Creek in BD+C >>
Join us for a SPUR forum about the project in January >>
Read the full Mission Creek report >>
San Jose Creates Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone
The San Jose City Council gave final approval to the creation of an urban agriculture incentive zone that covers the whole city.  Following the urging of SPUR and other organizations, the council also set the fees for processing applications at a more reasonable level than what the Planning Department first proposed. Private property owners who commit their land to urban agricultural use for five years can now apply to receive a reduction in their property taxes.   
Learn more and download the application >>
Read SPUR’s letters on Urban Incentive Zones in San Jose >>
What 2016 Meant for Bay Area Cities
So much happened in 2016. It was a year that saw major progress, along with major setbacks. And the outcome of the national election raised the stakes even higher. Here’s a look at the highs and lows — and where SPUR will be focusing its energies in the new year.
Read more on the SPUR blog >>
SPUR Sustainability + Resilience Events 
San Francisco
12:30 p.m. | Wednesday, January 18, 2017
San Francisco
12:30 p.m. | Thursday, January 19, 2017
San Francisco
12:30 p.m. | Thursday, January 26, 2017
12:30 p.m. | Wednesday, February 1, 2017
San Francisco
12:30 p.m. | Wednesday, February 1, 2017
San Jose
12:30 p.m. | Tuesday, February 7, 2017
San Francisco
6:00 p.m. | Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Other News 
Eating Our Way to Urban Improvement: January 28
Many Americans realize that things need to change to make our food system more healthy, sustainable and just.  But how do we make those changes? Learn more at University of the Pacific’s Saturday Seminar with Eli Zigas, SPUR’s Food and Agriculture Policy Director, on January 28th at 3 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.
Read the full details and RSVP >>
Marin County Sea Level Rise Adaptation Webinar: January 10
The County of Marin will share its vulnerability study and adaptation report in a webinar hosted by Jack Liebster and Alex Westhoff.
Learn more about Marin’s strategy and get details on the webinar >>
Bay Area Clean Air Plan Open Houses
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is hosting open houses around the region to share its draft Spare the Air, Cool the Climate plan — and to obtain your feedback on ways to reduce air pollution, stop climate change and protect public health. Open houses are being held in San Francisco on January 31, in San Jose on February 7, and in Oakland on February 8.
Learn more about the plan and open house schedule >>
EcoDistricts Training in SF: January 26
EcoDistricts is hosting a training on how to develop community asset maps, evaluate energy; water, resiliency and social equity strategies at the neighborhood scale; plan district-scale net zero energy and water systems; and prepare for the Ecodistrict Accredited Professional exam. Use the SPUR code, APPART, to get 10% off when registering.
Learn more about the EcoDistricts Protocol >>
Register for the January 26 training hosted by ARUP in SF >>
Electric Vehicle Charging at Multi-Tenant Buildings Webinar: January 26
By 2025, California’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure will need to expand 15 times its current capacity to support projected EV adoption. This free webinar (and live event at the main San Francisco Public Library) will discuss the EV market forecast, EV charging business models, financing options and special EV utility rates. Sponsored by the SF Department of Environment, Energy Upgrade California and the Center for Sustainable Energy.
Learn more and register >>
Food as a Strategic Framework for San Jose
What would San Jose look like if a robust local food system was one of the frameworks linking the city’s goals — around economic development, community health, environmental stewardship, culture and identity — as the city’s population grows to 1.5 million people over the next 25 years? Sustainable Agriculture and Education (SAGE) and its partners have published their Food Works report to answer this question. The team engaged agencies, businesses, nonprofits and community groups over the past year to develop this roadmap for making San Jose a vibrant food city and a healthier, more resilient place.
Read the Food Works report >>
How Did Your California Legislators Vote on Food and Ag Policies?
The Policy Work Group coalition of food policy councils and nonprofits has released its 4th annual Food and Agriculture Legislation Tracker. It offers a pithy analysis of wins and losses in the policy debates of the California Legislature, framed by facts that reveal how good food and resilient agriculture are solution to many challenges we face. And for the first time, project partner Roots of Change offers a Legislator Scorecard that holds policy makers accountable for their votes.
Download the Legislation Tracker and Legislator Scorecard >>
Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate
Cultivating Development, a new report from the Urban Land Institute, explores the mutually beneficial relationship between food-based amenities — such as working farms, community gardens, food halls, restaurants and grocery stores — and real estate. It highlights how the growing interest in and awareness of fresh, local food is spurring innovation in development projects.
Read the report >>
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Header photo of the Glide Memorial Church rooftop garden.
Mural by Jessica C. Kraft, photo by Sergio Ruiz

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