Community Planning

Our goal: Build great neighborhoods.

SPUR's community planning agenda:

• Conduct neighborhood planning within a regional context.
• Preserve our most important historic resources while allowing for growth and change.
• Create new buildings that exemplify the highest quality architecture.
• Make public spaces that people love to spend time in.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change

Neighborhood Planning

  • SPUR Report

    Taking Down a Freeway to Reconnect a Neighborhood

    Highway 280 and the Caltrain railyards create barriers between SoMa, Potrero Hill and Mission Bay. But San Francisco has the opportunity to advance bold new ideas to enhance both the transportation system and the public realm.

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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

    The Future of Downtown San Jose

    Downtown San Jose 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

    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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  • Urbanist Article

    The Future of the Berryessa BART Station

    As BART arrives in Silicon Valley, San Jose has a unique chance to shape growth around its first station. Land uses that support BART ridership will be key to the success of Berryessa Station — and the future of the area around it.

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Public Spaces

  • SPUR Report

    Getting to Great Places

    San Jose's ambitious General Plan imagines a dramatic shift away from suburban landscapes to “complete neighborhoods” that provide services and amenities close to homes, jobs and transit. SPUR recommends changes in policy and practice to get there.

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  • White Paper

    A Roadmap for St. James Park

    Like older downtown parks throughout the country, San Jose’s St. James Park has suffered from disinvestment in recent years. SPUR recommends steps to create a renewed vision for the park through improved stewardship and governance.

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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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  • Piero N. Patri Fellowship

    The Piero N. Patri Fellowship in Urban Design offers firsthand experience working in the urban design and planning field on a project that will have a positive impact on San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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Historic Resources

  • SPUR Report

    Historic Preservation in San Francisco

    San Francisco's distinctive architecture is one of its great assets. It’s critical to protect this historic fabric while supporting growth and change in the right locations. How can the city integrate preservation into its processes for land use planning?

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New Buildings

  • Project Review

    SPUR'S Project Review Advisory Board looks at Bay Area development proposals of citywide or regional importance, evaluating their potential to enhance the vitality of their city and region according to SPUR’s policy priorities and principles of good placemaking.

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  • White Paper

    Cracking the Code

    Great urban design is essential to creating sustainable, walkable cities. But some city codes undermine urban design principles. How might San Jose raise the bar? By addressing the ground rules of design within the municipal code.

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Advanced Search

  • Find more of SPUR's community planning research

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Updates and Events

The Best Equity Plan for Downtown Oakland: Grow for Everyone’s Sake

News February 15, 2017
Oakland’s Downtown Specific Plan process is about to restart, but with a major shift in approach. Responding to public concern over displacement, the city is developing a racial equity framework for the plan. If Oakland is bold enough in its ambitions, the downtown plan can be opportunity to demonstrate that equity will come from supporting economic growth — not from stifling it.

SPUR Supports Proposal to Simplify SF Planning Code Article 7

Policy Letter February 2, 2017
SPUR supports the simplification and reorganization of Article 7 of the Planning Code, part of the Code Reorganization Project, a monumental effort toward making it easier for citizens and practitioners to engage with the planning and development process.

Where to Put the Downtown San Jose BART Station: Go West

News January 26, 2017
In the next few months, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will make big decisions about where and how BART will come to San Jose. One of the big decisions is where the downtown San Jose station should be located. Of the two options on the table, SPUR strongly supports the west downtown option. Here's why.

The Rise of the YIMBY Movement

Urbanist Article January 11, 2017
In a region where people largely agree with each other about national issues, our most heated political debates revolve around local land use. The emergence of a Yes In My Back Yard movement has the potential to change long-unchallenged political dynamics.

SPUR Comments on General Plan Four-Year Review

Policy Letter December 13, 2016
SPUR offers recommendations for San Jose's General Plan Four-Year Review, plus recommendations to guide the long-term evolution of the city's General Plan and Urban Village planning process.

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