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 Do We Rebuild the Bay Area's Middle Class?

News June 18, 2013
In the past few years, there's been a lot of attention on income inequality and the shrinking middle class, particularly as job growth nationally has remained sluggish. Despite an economic boom in the Bay Area, many workers are still struggling. SPUR is part of a new initiative to identify ways we can increase economic opportunity at the local and regional level.

The Key to a Stronger Economy? Better Regional Governance

News February 18, 2013
The Bay Area economy has rebounded from the recession. Yet major regional challenges threaten our continued prosperity. At the 2013 State of Silicon Valley conference, SPUR made the case that some of the biggest threats to the Bay Area’s long-term economic competitiveness are challenges best addressed through better regional governance.

The Corporate Campus Embraces Urbanization

Urbanist Article December 18, 2012
When Google proposed a new vision for retrofitting its Mountain View campus as a dense and walkable urban place, the city embraced the plan — but balked at Google’s request to include housing. Increasingly, we are seeing expressions of the urban future of work through specific proposals by companies interested in retrofitting the suburban corporate campus rather than moving into cities.

In San Francisco, the Boom Is Back

Urbanist Article December 18, 2012
After years of underbuilding, new housing and commercial construction is booming in San Francisco. Years of work on neighborhood plans and rezoning are paying off as new construction targets transit-served areas and neighborhoods that support greater residential density.

A Policy Agenda for the Sharing Economy

Urbanist Article October 9, 2012
From carsharing to clothes-swapping to couchsurfing, collaborative consumption is not only reinventing what we consume but how we consume it.But as it moves out of infancy and toward greater adoption and acceptance, it’s time to look at the ways policy might help facilitate its growth — and how government might help, or hinder, its progress.

Silicon Valley Lands One of Four New U.S. Patent Offices

News July 9, 2012
Word of a big win for Silicon Valley came July 2 from the U.S. Commerce Department. For the first time in its history, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will open four offices outside of Virginia, and the western region office will be located in Silicon Valley.

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