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.

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  • 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

Bay Area Work Trends Lead to Increased Density

News March 30, 2011
Co-working studio [Photo by flickr user ahopsi] According to a piece in Sunday’s Chronicle, tech employment in San Francisco is approaching its dot-com peak : "The city had an estimated 32,180 tech jobs last year, compared with 34,116 in 2000, according to an analysis of state employment data by real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle. In 2004, the number of tech jobs had fallen to 18,210." The most interesting thing about the growth in jobs is that it hasn’t been accompanied by proportionate growth in office space; while dot-com companies occupied 325 square feet per worker in 2000, today they occupy about 175, and that number has been falling each year . The Chronicle speculates that this is driven by the relative frugality among today’s dot-coms, which is certainly possible. While there are lots of companies out there, venture capital firms have generally been making smaller investments during this cycle...

Initial Vision Scenario Released for the Bay Area

News March 11, 2011
The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission released their Initial Vision Scenario for growth in the Bay Area at a meeting in Oakland today. The scenario is the first major milestone in the development of the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, a plan designed to accommodate growth while reducing greenhouse gases from driving,

Beyond the Tracks

SPUR Report January 3, 2011
For the 26 California cities designated as future high-speed rail stops, the new statewide system presents a once-in-a-century opportunity to reshape their local economies and set the course for more compact, less automobile-dependent growth. Beyond the Tracks identifies specific land-use planning strategies that will contribute to the success of high-speed rail and help cities, and ultimately California, realize the full potential of the multi-billion-dollar system.

How to Improve the Bay Plan's Guidelines for Sea Level Rise

News November 16, 2010
Over the last two years, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) has been working to amend its guidance document, the Bay Plan, to include new policies related to climate change and sea level rise.

SPUR's Take on Amending the Bay Plan

Policy Letter November 10, 2010
SPUR believes that it is possible both to encourage true urban infill development in the right locations and to meaningfully plan for sea level rise. We also believe some changes should be made to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s proposed amendments to the Bay Plan.

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