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.

    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

Case Study in Regional Planning: Portland's Metro Council

Urbanist Article September 1, 2003
The article discusses the conditions that led to the success of regional government in Portland, including homogeneity, young political institutions and urban links to natural resource industries.

On the Level

Urbanist Article September 1, 2003
Tom Radulovich discusses the effectiveness of city-transport balance, and recommends ways to improve San Francisco’s “balkanized” transit services into a larger, multimodal, regional agency.

Bay Area Regionalism - Can We Get There?

Urbanist Article September 1, 2003
The article discusses various regional planning efforts and agencies in the Bay Area's history, notes their single-purpose role, and questions what the right approach might be for the future.

Community Vision/Regional Action

Urbanist Article March 1, 2003
TALC discusses their start, uniting social justice groups and environmental policy, running smart campaigns, and using the media to spur action. Building coalitions need common vision and compromise.

The California Futures Network

Urbanist Article March 1, 2003
In spite of its progressive nature, California faces greater challenges in achieving smart growth than many other states. This article explores why, and what a new network of good planning organizations can do about it.

Where to Put the Bay Area's Next Million?

Urbanist Article May 1, 2001
The article argues that solving housing shortages requires future regional growth going into mixed-use job and population centers of 12 million square feet in areas within 2000 feet of major transit.

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