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

Emerald Cities: How are Cities Advancing the Shift to a Green Economy?

News November 10, 2009
[Image: Green roof in Toronto from urbanneighbourhood ] How can cities best position themselves in the green economy? What is the role of manufacturing in urban areas? How can a city best choose an economic development strategy given its size and unique economic history? How should federal policy support policy innovation among cities? Join us for an evening discussion with nationally-recognized visiting writer and professor Joan Fitzgerald . She will give us a preview of her new book , Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development , to be published by Oxford University Press in early 2010. In the book, Joan Fitzgerald shows how in the absence of a comprehensive national policy, cities have taken the lead in addressing the interrelated environmental problems of global warming, pollution, energy dependence, and social justice. Her analysis includes a comparison of 24 cities throughout the United States - major cities like New York,...

The Future of the Bay Delta

Urbanist Article September 1, 2009
Planning efforts to address the Delta’s complex ecosystem and water supply crisis may also greatly enhance the Delta’s open space values.

Job Sprawl in the Megaregion

Urbanist Article September 1, 2009
Job decentralization has expanded the boundaries of our megaregion — increasing commute times and greenhouse gas emissions in Northern California. We propose a framework for developing strategies to drive jobs back into centers already served by regional transit.

Recovery in the Golden State

Urbanist Article August 8, 2009
While housing is down, we know that population growth eventually will create the demand for new homes, rejuvenating employment and investment in the industry.

A Bay Area Economic Recovery Plan

News March 26, 2009
With so much interest in how to access the Federal stimulus funds, the Bay Area Economic Institute is organizing the region's agencies and business groups to develop a coherent regional plan for recovery. This document here is the process and timeline for how the region will come up with its strategy, all of which should be completed by June 1. Project concepts are due in the end of April

The Future of Downtown San Francisco

SPUR Report March 2, 2009
How can we bring more jobs into the region's most transit-rich employment center? SPUR proposes a sustainable plan for transit-oriented job growth in the Bay Area.

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