Planning

Our goal: Add new jobs and housing where they will support equity and sustainability, and make neighborhoods safe and welcoming to everyone.

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Ensure that communities are safe, inclusive and equipped to meet all residents’ daily needs with a diverse mix of businesses and services.

• Prioritize investment in and access to parks, nature and public spaces as a driver for social cohesion and economic opportunity.

• Ensure that regionally significant neighborhood plans in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland advance equity, sustainability and prosperity.

Find more planning research
  • SPUR Report

    Model Places

    Over the next 50 years, the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to gain as many as 4 million people and 2 million jobs. In a region where a crushing housing shortage is already threatening quality of life, how can we welcome new residents and jobs without paving over green spaces or pushing out long-time community members?

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  • SPUR Report

    A Downtown for Everyone

    Downtown Oakland is poised to take on a more important role in the region. But the future is not guaranteed. An economic boom could stall — or take off in a way that harms the city’s character, culture and diversity. How can downtown grow while providing benefits to all?

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San José

    Downtown San José is the most walkable, transit-oriented place in the South Bay. But it needs more people. SPUR identifies six big ideas for achieving a more successful and active downtown.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Francisco

    The movement of jobs to suburban office parks is as much of a threat to the environment as residential sprawl — if not a greater one. Our best strategy is to channel more job growth to existing centers, like transit-rich downtown San Francisco.

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  • SPUR Report

    Getting to Great Places

    Silicon Valley, the most dynamic and innovative economic engine in the world, is not creating great urban places. Having grown around the automobile, the valley consists largely of lowslung office parks, surface parking and suburban tract homes. SPUR’s report Getting to Great Places diagnoses the impediments San José faces in creating excellent, walkable urban places and recommends changes in policy and practice that will help meet these goals.

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  • SPUR Report

    Secrets of San Francisco

    Dozens of office buildings in San Francisco include privately owned public open spaces or “POPOS.” SPUR evaluates these spaces and lays out recommendations to improve existing POPOS and guide the development of new ones.

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Updates and Events

The Bigger Picture: Seven Ideas for Downtown San José

SPUR Report February 19, 2021
SPUR’s Bigger Picture series proposes ideas for key locations in San Francisco, San José and Oakland. Each provides an opportunity to tackle major regional challenges through local planning processes. Our first report looks at the western side of downtown San José, where a major rail station expansion, a park re-envisioning process and a record number of proposed developments are signaling big changes for the neighborhood.

Where Do We Go From Here? SPUR Sets New Vision and Long-Range Goals

News January 26, 2021
With vaccines rolling out and stable national leadership in place, we can trust that we will, eventually, reemerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The question now is: Reemerge into what? To return to “normal” would be to reembrace a way of living that was neither sustainable nor equitable. To meet this moment, SPUR has articulated a bold vision statement and evolved our organizational mission.

Coexistence in Public Space

SPUR Report January 25, 2021
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?

Five Ideas for Rebuilding Retail in the Post-Pandemic City

News January 25, 2021
The growth of online shopping has thrown the fate of retail stores into question — a challenge exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns. As we plan for a future when gathering and in-person activities are safe again, it's time to look beyond a return to the status quo and rethink retail as a tool for social and economic transformation. SPUR proposes five experimental ideas to explore.

California Legislators Introduce New Bills as 2021 Session Kicks Off

News December 15, 2020
Last Monday, the California State Legislature convened to swear in members and introduce the first bills of the 2021-2022 legislative session. Here’s a round-up of notable bills that have already been introduced, including some key bills SPUR will be tracking.

Integrating Planning With Nature

SPUR Report December 15, 2020
Over the next century, the San Francisco Bay Area will face three major challenges: adapting to a changing climate, adding infill development to accommodate a growing population, and maintaining natural and working lands in the face of development pressure. A new report outlines how nature-based solutions can maximize community preparedness for future climate conditions while providing a wide variety of benefits to people and ecosystems.

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