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

A Boom, and a Turning Point, for Downtown San Jose

News April 6, 2016
Thirty years ago, few people could have imagined that downtown San Jose would be taking off like it is today. In the last year, 659 new units of housing came on the market and more than 1,900 are under construction. This is what a generation of city leaders has been working toward, and the excitement is both palpable and well deserved. But it’s also fragile.

Are We Headed for an Economic Correction? Bay Area Experts Weigh In

News March 9, 2016
What will happen with the economy in the year ahead? Are we in for a correction or recession? Every year, SPUR’s Municipal Fiscal Advisory Committee gathers expert economists to try to answer these kinds of questions. The expertise of independent economists and experts from key sectors — including real estate, hospitality and retail — helps the city staff develop revenue projections for San Francisco’s budget.

The Economic Boom Continues

Urbanist Article January 19, 2016
The Bay Area has emerged as one of the most significant economic engines on earth. Yet some of our policy failures are limiting the region’s ability to add jobs — and causing terrible problems for its residents. We know that booms and busts are an inevitable part of capitalism, but what do we know about the longer-term fate of the Bay Area innovative economy?

SPUR Supports San Jose City Council Priorities for 2016

Policy Letter December 18, 2015
SPUR supports the following two items that have been nominated as part of the San Jose City Council's priority-setting process: the Downtown Active Storefronts Initiative and the San Jose Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone ordinance.

Strengthening the Budget of the Bay Area’s Largest City

News December 18, 2015
Over the last decade and a half, San Jose’s budget has been on an economic rollercoaster. Two recessions, budget deficits, lay-offs and service cuts have all plagued the largest city in the Bay Area. SPUR has been exploring some of the factors that have affected San Jose’s fiscal position, as well as analyzing it's performance compared to other cities in Santa Clara County and California.

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