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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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?

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More

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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More

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?

    Read More

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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More

Advanced Search

  • Find more of SPUR's community planning research

    Read More

Updates and Events

SPUR Reviews Diridon Station Area Plan

Policy Letter May 5, 2014
While SPUR continues to be supportive of the overall Diridon Station Area Plan, we maintain that there are specific areas of the plan that could be improved or should be given more attention.

Diridon Station: Big Investments, Big Opportunities

News April 9, 2014
Regional transit projects planned for San Jose's Diridon Station could make it one of the Bay Area’s most important transit and development hubs — if the area around it is planned well. The city has released a draft version of its Diridon Station Area Plan, which will shape the future of the area. SPUR has reviewed the plan and made a number of important recommendations.

SPUR Supports SFPUC Rate Structure

Policy Letter April 8, 2014
The San Francisco Public Utilties Commission has proposed a four-year rate structure that would finance three critical priorities for San Francisco and the Bay Area: the completion of the Water System Improvement Program, the beginning stages of the Sewer System Improvement Program, and maintenance and repair costs for current operations. SPUR supports the new structure, which would begin in July 2014.

SPUR Supports In-Law Unit Legalization Legislation

Policy Letter March 20, 2014
While legalizing existing in-law units (estimated at 30-50,000) will not increase the availability of housing in San Francisco, it will maintain an existing source of affordable housing, protect tenants, increase property tax revenue to the City and provide a safe and clear path to legal status for property owners.

The Future of Downtown San Jose

SPUR Report March 17, 2014
Downtown San Jose is the densest, most walkable, most transit-oriented and most dynamic place in the South Bay. It’s now poised to benefit from the growing trend toward working and living in urban centers. But downtown needs more people. This SPUR report identifies six big ideas for achieving a more successful and active downtown, then lays out the steps for making them happen.

SPUR Supports Proposal Allowing Castro In-Law Units

Policy Letter March 14, 2014
Supervisor Scott Wiener recently proposed an ordinance that would permit the construction of secondary (in-law) units in the Castro Street Neighborhood Commercial District within 1,750 feet of the District Boundaries. Given San Francisco’s ongoing need for more housing and the affordability crisis we face today, SPUR supports this ordinance as an opportunity to increase supply in an existing neighborhood with minimal impact on existing residents.

Follow Our Work

Get the latest updates on Community Planning projects and events.

Sign up for our email newsletters