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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • Find more of SPUR's regional planning research

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Updates and Events

Transforming Downtown San Jose

Urbanist Article March 11, 2014
Downtown San Jose is the only downtown in the South Bay that is ready to grow in a serious way. Here are six big ideas to help make that happen.

SPUR Comments on the Diridon Station Area Plan Draft

Policy Letter February 13, 2014
SPUR supports the broad outlines of the City of San Jose's draft Diridon Station Area Plan. We do, however, think that the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report does not provide sufficient analysis of some of the project impacts and recommend specific areas that should be corrected, modified or further studied.

A Taste of the Future on North First Street?

Urbanist Article January 14, 2014
Samsung broke ground on a massive new headquarters for its U.S. Research and Development operations in north San Jose. More than any project to date, the new Samsung campus embraces the city’s vision of a denser, more walkable pattern along North First Street, the city’s tech employment heartland.

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.

A Threat to Planning?

Urbanist Article December 17, 2013
From The Year in Urbanism : Critics across the political spectrum challenged the newly adopted Plan Bay Area, a 30-year regional plan that aligns transportation investments with assumptions about growth. By contesting the fundamental notion of a shared regional responsibility, the opponents of Plan Bay Area are undercutting the role of regional planning as a tool to manage long-term growth.

A New Plan for the Region

Urbanist Article December 17, 2013
From The Year in Urbanism : Two Bay Area regional planning agencies adopted Plan Bay Area, which combines a relatively compact land use vision for 2 million more people and 1 million jobs with $290 billion in transportation investments through 2040.

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