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 Committee evaluates proposals for individual buildings in San Francisco based on their potential to enhance the vitality of city life. The committee ams to create a greater constituency for good urbanism through practical example.

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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

SPUR Supports Accessory Dwelling Units Across SF

Policy Letter June 23, 2016
SPUR supports making in-law units easier to create and appreciates legislation that would extend legalization of ADUs to all zoning districts that allow residential use.

What Is Oakland Doing About Its Housing Crisis?

News June 10, 2016
As housing prices continue to climb in Oakland and stories of displacement circulate, many are asking when the city is going to do something about the housing affordability crisis. Progress may look slow on the ground, but in fact the city has been making rapid progress on a number of fronts.

Go Big and Go Home: Why the Housing Bonus Program Is Good for SF

News June 7, 2016
On June 13, Mayor Lee and Supervisor Tang’s Affordable Housing Bonus Program heads to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee. The program has come under fire from both housing advocates and neighborhood opponents. Recently, Supervisors Mar and Peskin announced a competing proposal. But we still think the original plan is the way to go. Here’s why.

Three Ways Downtown San Jose Just Got a Lot More Urban

News June 2, 2016
In the past few weeks, San Jose has taken three big steps toward creating a more urban and active downtown. These milestones took place with little fanfare, but we think they’re worth celebrating.

Governor Brown’s Solution to the Affordability Crisis: Allow New Housing “By Right”

News June 2, 2016
In May, Governor Jerry Brown proposed streamlining the approvals process for multi-family housing developments that are built in urbanized areas and include affordable housing. If the proposal passes, eligible housing projects would be approved “by right,” and not subject to local approval or review under CEQA. The governor's proposal is not a panacea, but it is a practical, modest step in the right direction .

SPUR Supports Governor Brown's "By-Right" Legislation

Policy Letter June 1, 2016
SPUR is pleased to offer support to Governor Brown’s proposed trailer legislation, “Streamlining Affordable Housing Approvals,” which would make mixed-income infill housing development as-of-right.

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