Economic Development

Our goal: Lay the foundations of economic prosperity — for everyone.

SPUR's economic development agenda:

• Grow our own firms; don't try to lure them from other places.
• Make sure the high cost of locating in the Bay Area is worth it.
• Align workforce and economic development strategies.
• Strengthen our public education system.
• Maintain enough industrial land.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • SPUR Report

    Economic Prosperity Strategy

    The Bay Area has one of the strongest economies in the world, but its benefits are not universally shared. How can we make sure the region’s rising economic tide lifts all boats? We identify a three-pronged approach to economic mobility for low- and moderate-wage workers.

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  • Ongoing Initiative

    The Future of Work

    In the last three decades, employment has spread from city centers to car-centric, low-density office parks. How can we move more jobs to places served by transit? SPUR looks at how to make this shift while strengthening innovation, job growth and the prosperity of the Bay Area.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Francisco

    To achieve a low-carbon future, Bay Area residents need to be able to commute to work without a car. Our best strategy is to channel more employment into existing centers, particularly transit-rich downtown San Francisco. SPUR proposes a sustainable plan for transit-oriented job growth in the Bay Area.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Jose

    Downtown San Jose is the densest, most walkable, most transit-oriented 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. SPUR identifies six strategies for a more successful and active downtown.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Downtown for Everyone

    Downtown Oakland is enjoying a renaissance, but the future is not guaranteed. An economic boom could stall before it gets going — or take off in a way that harms Oakland’s character, culture and diversity. We propose five big ideas for how downtown Oakland can grow while providing benefits to all.

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  • SPUR Report

    Organizing for Economic Growth

    San Francisco faces a major question about how to organize and pay for economic development work. SPUR explores what the city’s model should be for carrying out business formation, retention and attraction.

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  • Find more of SPUR's economic development research

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Updates and Events

How Caltrain’s Business Plan Can Reinvent the Railroad

News May 25, 2017
Now that Caltrain’s electrification project has federal funding, leaders and the public can start designing the Caltrain of the future. Finishing the $2.25 billion modernization project will mark the beginning of a completely new era for the railroad. As Caltrain begins the process of developing a business plan, here are five important questions we think the business plan should tackle.

What’s Going Up in Downtown San Jose? Our Take on Three Trends

News May 11, 2017
The number of proposed developments in downtown San Jose is up — but only one project broke ground in the last year. Blocks are filling in with new businesses — but beloved Camera 12 Cinemas has shut its doors. These mixed signals make it hard to predict what the market will do next, but we’ve seen three clear trends play out in recent months.

Urban Field Notes: Berlin, Freedom 2.0

Urbanist Article May 2, 2017
Our correspondent witnesses a wonderfully urbane model of freedom in Berlin. Here, some observations about Berlin’s transportation, transit and pedestrian system — the arterials and capillaries of urban design and planning - as it relates to the city’s personality and livability.

Zoning's Next Century

Urbanist Article April 30, 2017
Last year, zoning turned 100. What will the next century bring? We invited planners, architects, journalists, economists and others to weigh in: What should change? What should remain? Will we, as New Urbanist Andres Duany suggests, look forward to the day zoning no longer exists at all?

What’s Next for the Silicon Valley Economy?

News April 24, 2017
As the rate of economic growth begins to slow down, observers are asking what’s next for Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Will the region’s miraculous growth continue? Will high housing costs ever come down? Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Russ Hancock addressed some of these concerns when he presented the 2017 Silicon Valley Index at a SPUR forum in San Jose.

SPUR Comments on SJ Downtown Strategy 2040 EIR

Policy Letter April 10, 2017
SPUR comments on the updated Downtown Strategy 2040, in particular, urging San Jose to adopt metrics based on vehicle miles traveled and to forego planned (but un-built) auto-oriented projects through downtown once and for all.

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