Regional Planning

Our goal: Concentrate growth inside existing cities.

SPUR's regional planning agenda:


• Focus housing growth in existing communities.
• Add new jobs in transit-accessible employment centers.
• Retrofit suburban office parks to increase density.
• Strengthen our regional agencies.
• Explore tax sharing.


Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • White Paper

    Improving Regional Planning in the Bay Area

    Many attempts have been made to foster better collaboration between the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. A proposal to establish a merged planning department has again opened up the discussion about the future of regional planning in the Bay Area. SPUR recommends studying a full merger of the two agencies.

    Read More
  • Report

    Strengthening the Bay Area's Regional Governance

    The Bay Area economy has rebounded from the recession, but major regional challenges threaten our continued prosperity. SPUR makes the case that some of the biggest threats to the Bay Area’s long-term economic competitiveness are best addressed through better regional governance.

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  • Advocacy Letter

    SPUR’s Comments on Plan Bay Area

    Plan Bay Area is an important step forward in comprehensive regional planning in the Bay Area. Our comments on the plan address the gap between our vision of a more concentrated region and the tools available to achieve it.

    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.

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  • The Urbanist

    The Northern California Megaregion

    Northern California, home to 14 million people, is expected to add at least 10 million people by 2050. How we plan for and accommodate that growth is the defining question for urban planning in Northern California today.

    Read More
  • SPUR Report

    Beyond the Tracks

    California cities anticipating the rewards of new high-speed rail stations may fail to reap the full economic and environmental benefits without key land-use planning. SPUR identifies strategies that will contribute to the success of high-speed rail and help realize the full potential of this multi-billion-dollar system.

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  • Find more of SPUR's regional planning research

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Updates and Events

Getting High-Speed Rail On Track

Urbanist Article July 10, 2012
Much of the debate around high-speed rail revolves around federal funding. But with — or without — that revenue stream, SPUR believes that California can fund much of high speed rail on its own.

Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley

Urbanist Article July 10, 2012
As new business models continue to break the divide between content creation and distribution, SPUR considers how rail service between north and south might further facilitate creative collaboration.

The Cities of Carquinez

Urbanist Article June 3, 2012
The cities of southern Solano and eastern Contra Costa Counties are as old as the Bay Area itself. What happens if we start thinking about them as central to the future of the region as a whole?

Diversity Didn’t Cause the Foreclosure Crisis

Urbanist Article June 3, 2012
The “Cities of Carquinez" were hit by a perfect storm of housing boom and subsequent bust, fiscal stress, weak job growth, and more. The new map of regional inequality that these forces have wrought, and the consequent challenges faced by low-income families and communities of color in the region are examined here.

A Better Future for Bay Area Transit

White Paper March 8, 2012
By 2035, the Bay Area's 27 transit operators will face a combined $17 billion capital deficit and an $8 billion operating deficit. Unless costs and revenues change, and service improves, the viability of Bay Area transit is at risk. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has launched the Transit Sustainability Project to identify policy solutions. SPUR recommends nine strategies to reach the TSP’s goals.

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