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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

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Upcoming SPUR programs and events

SPUR believes education empowers people to take an active role in creating a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous region. A majority of its programming is free to the public. Below are upcoming SPUR programs and events that may interest you. For a full list, please visit SPUR’s Upcoming Events page.

The following SPUR Digital Discourse events are FREE:

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San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Housing on the Ballot in California

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Up and down the state, local jurisdictions placed housing measures on the ballot in the November 2022 election. Issues included stopping affordable housing from being built in wealthy communities, taxing vacant units, mechanisms to streamline housing production and protections for tenants. A recent article by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, cataloged each housing measure on the ballot for the November 2022 election, and reporting by KQED sought to make sense of what each measure means for housing in our state. This digital discourse will explore which of these measures passed, which failed and what the outcomes means for housing in California.

  • Muhammad Alameldin / Terner Center for Housing Innovation
  • Erin Baldassari / KQED
  • Sarah Karlinsky / SPUR

San Francisco + San José + Oakland

The Future of Urbanism: The Shared Prosperity Partnership

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The strength of American cities – and the nation as a whole – depends on generating inclusive growth for people of all races, ethnicities and incomes. Yet even in our most economically vibrant cities, not all residents are benefiting from that growth, resulting in stark racial and economic disparities that are even more extreme in distressed communities. Inaugurated in 2018, the Shared Prosperity Partnership – a collaboration of The Kresge Foundation, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, the Urban Institute, and Living Cities – supports local leaders in select communities who are committed to advancing inclusive growth through data analysis, research, and access to national experts, networks and financial resources. The Partnership elevates promising models through publications, public forums and a national summit to spark dialogue among practitioners and support evidence-based policy at the state and national levels. Join us for a virtual dialogue with Alicia John-Baptiste, SPUR President and CEO and Jennifer Bradley, Senior Fellow – American Cities at The Kresge Foundation in which they discuss the progress of the Shared Prosperity Partnership and how this work is informing the future of urbanism.

  • Alicia John-Baptiste / SPUR
  • Jennifer Bradley / The Kresge Foundation


Reclaiming Indigenous Lands in Cities: Lessons From Oakland

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In September 2022, the City of Oakland announced its plans to return approximately five acres of city-owned land to Indigenous stewardship, in partnership with the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. Occupying the land for thousands of years, Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone people were forcibly removed from their lands during the 18th century by Europeans and their descendants. This returning of land through Indigenous stewardship would allow the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust to immediately start tending to the land, restoring it to its natural state, a cultural practice among other uses as determined by the trust. Learn more about how this reclamation unfolded and the lessons it holds for developing partnerships between tribal or Indigenous-led groups and government.

  • Kelley Kahn / Director of Economic and Workforce Development, City of Oakland
  • Darin Ranelleti / Senior Advisor to Mayor Schaaf, City of Oakland
  • Corrina Gould / Director, Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

San Francisco + San José + Oakland

A Conversation With Caltrans Director Tony Tavares

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Thursday, February 9, 2023

Since June 2022, Tony Tavares has served as the 34th director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), where he manages a nearly $20 billion budget and 22,000 employees who oversee California’s highways, bridges, airports and rail. Tavares, a civil engineering graduate, has held a number of positions in California’s transportation sector, most recently director of the Caltrans Los Angeles District 7. Now, as Caltrans director, Tavares will advance efforts for safe and sustainable communities across the state. His people-first vision for California’s transportation encompasses sustainability, equity, accessibility and safety across all modes of transit. Join us for a conversation with Director Tavares about that vision and his plans for implementing the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI), road and congestion pricing, bus priority and express lane conversions, tearing down highways and avoiding the transit fiscal cliff.

  • Tony Tavares / CalTrans
  • Nick Josefowitz / SPUR

San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Water Equity, Affordability and Climate Change

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Friday, February 10, 2023

Photo of Hetch Hetchy Power tower

As California’s drought continues to worsen, residents across the state are facing a water affordability crisis. Water rate increases for Californians are expected to accelerate as the climate continues to change and the state’s infrastructure continues to age, further burdening low-income communities. But that outcome isn’t inevitable. Join us for a discussion of ways to curb water rate increases and mitigate the disproportionate impact on low-income customers, including greater water efficiency, better long-term planning and more equitable rate structures. This program is generously sponsored by San Jose Water.

  • Laura Feinstein / SPUR
  • Heather Cooley / Pacific Institute

San Francisco + San José + Oakland

Better Together: Collaborating to Create the Future of Rail

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Transportation leaders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are looking to invest in other modes of transportation, as well as deliver more efficient transportation design, scope and infrastructure. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has been diligently working on a study that examines how rail agencies throughout the region can work collaboratively on larger rail projects and operations. Join us as we discuss the findings from this new Regional Rail Study with Metropolitan Transportation Commission staff and other transportation partners throughout the region, and learn what these findings mean for the future of rail transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Shruti Hari / Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Chad Edison / California State Transportation Agency
  • Sebastian Petty / SPUR

San Francisco + San José + Oakland

New Ideas for Regional Planning in California

12:30–1:30 p.m. | Wednesday, February 15, 2023

In the last few years, California has spent more than $1 billion to support regional planning, including $600 million from regional early-action planning grants, $600 million for the Community Economic Resilience Fund, and $25 million for climate adaptation planning. Although the overall investment in “regions-up” planning is unprecedented, it remains insufficient. Given how many key planning issues in California require an approach that integrates housing, job location, climate adaptation, transit recovery, reduced vehicle travel and greenhouse gas emissions and more equitable economic development, some would like to further elevate the authority of regional agencies. Come hear the architects of this idea discuss the state of regional planning in California today and learn what else is needed to fully tackle the interconnected demands facing metropolitan regions.

  • Alicia John-Baptiste / SPUR
  • Jennifer Bradley / The Kresge Foundation
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