SPUR Continues with the Good Fight

The San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association, known to most as SPUR, took another brazen stab at common sense with this month’s publication of their monthly news letter, The Urbanist. In something of a departure from the good government and public policy editions of the past, June’s issue focuses on the design-side of planning. Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf makes a lot of sense:

New buildings need to be well designed–meaning they should meet the street in a human and open way while also contributing something of aesthetic value to the city. We hold out the hope that better-designed buildings will someday be met with more excitement (and less opposition) [parenthesis his].

Too ugly to live?

If there is one thing that SPUR has historically been long on, it is hope. The Urbanist focuses on the absence of designers in the urban planning process, often resulting in drab, uninteresting buildings that solicit the fewest complaints. It can also result in outright pandering, in which a church bell tower is grafted on to a Nob Hill condo building.

In other SPUR news, the Association recently put out a new white paper crying out for the creation of a well funded economic development agency, working to attract and retain business in the city. By their own admission, we have tried this before, with each incarnation suffering due to lack of a dedicated funding. With this year’s budget battles sure to be contentious, I wish them the best of luck.


~ by awietstock on June 10, 2010.

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