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

New SPUR Project: Designing With Nature for Sea Level Rise

News July 13, 2017
While many efforts are underway to assess the Bay Area’s vulnerability to climate change, there hasn’t been a framework for evaluating which strategies will be appropriate for our shoreline’s many different settings — from wetlands to recreational attractions to industrial sites. SPUR is launching a new project that will define different segments of the shoreline so that we can develop integrated adaptation strategies for each.

Remaking Diridon: Principles to Plan and Grow By

News June 22, 2017
Over the next decade, more than $10 billion of transportation investments will start to remake San Jose’s Diridon Station into the first high-speed rail station in the country and the busiest transportation hub west of the Mississippi. This historic opportunity has the potential to reshape the entire South Bay. SPUR proposes seven principles that should guide planning, land use and transportation decisions at Diridon.

HOME-SF: New Law Aims to Spark More Affordable Housing

News June 21, 2017
Last month, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed the HOME-SF program into law. The new law encourages housing developers to provide 30 percent of new units to low- and moderate-income households in exchange for permission to build bigger. The program will help to fill San Francisco’s growing need for housing, particularly for middle-income households that have not been well-served in the past.

Keep Building Oakland

News June 15, 2017
As the pace of residential development picks up in downtown Oakland and the Broadway-Valdez area, it’s worth remembering that Oakland is much, much bigger than those two small neighborhoods and that very little is being built anywhere else. If we really want to alleviate the housing shortage, we need to build much more housing, in many more parts of the city.

How Do We Transform Diridon Station?

Urbanist Article May 22, 2017
The remaking of Diridon Station is San Jose’s largest and most significant city-building project to date, but success is not assured. We have a lot to learn from other cities that have undertaken ambitious projects to transform transportation services and remake the areas around train stations. Based on our lessons from Rotterdam, Toronto and Denver, we recommend 17 ideas for creating a great train station.

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