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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • Find more of SPUR's economic development research

    Read More

Updates and Events

Regional Prosperity Plan - Economic Prosperity Strategies

White Paper December 17, 2013
The Regional Prosperity Plan is a SPUR-led regional effort to develop an economic prosperity strategy for the Bay Area. After a year of extensive outreach and technical analysis, the team is now engaged in developing recommendations broken out by goals and strategies.

The Tech Boom

Urbanist Article December 17, 2013
From The Year in Urbanism : San Francisco added jobs faster than any other city in the country in 2013. The boom-and-bust cycle is an inherent part of capitalism. But underneath the ups and downs of the business cycle are longer-term trends — in this case, the emergence of technology as the dominant employment sector in San Francisco.

Lease Deals Point to Positive Signs for Downtown San Jose

News December 11, 2013
Two big lease deals in downtown San Jose indicate that the city center’s underappreciated assets may be proving attractive to those seeking more urban workplaces in Silicon Valley. Why did these two tenants choose downtown over other nearby competitors? Four reasons: access to transit, urban amenities, real estate costs and a responsive government.

Seeking Prosperity: Middle-Wage Job Opportunities in the Bay Area

News November 5, 2013
A little over one-third of the Bay Area workforce earns $18 per hour or less . Given the high cost of living in the Bay Area, it’s important to move many of these workers to higher paying jobs. This posts looks at what these jobs are, how many of them there will be in the coming years, and the skills and education levels they require.

Seeking Prosperity: The Facts About Low and Moderate Wage Workers

News October 28, 2013
Middle-wage jobs are becoming scarcer as more and more job growth takes place at the high and low ends of the wage spectrum. How can we create opportunity for low-wage workers to move up? Past efforts to address this issue have sometimes emphasized the differences between workers in different wage groups. But this often masks the specific information needed to solve the challenge.

New York vs. Silicon Valley?

Urbanist Article August 12, 2013
Today, Silicon Valley receives the country’s largest share of venture capital investment — but New York may be catching up. It’s not official economic development strategies that should worry the Bay Area. More important are the underlying fundamentals supporting New York City’s growth: its ability to attract talent, its urbanity and its existing industry mix.

Follow Our Work

Get the latest updates on SPUR projects and events.

Sign up for our email newsletters