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

A Guide to California's SB 375

News July 1, 2009
NRDC has just released a guide to SB 375 , the nation's first legislation to link transportation and land use planning with global warming. The goal of this legislation is to foster development patterns that reduce the need to drive. Household transportation is the single largest and fastest-growing source of global warming pollution in California. SB 375 will also help save money for households and taxpayers (through reduced infrastructure costs), reduce air pollution, conserve water, and protect farmland and open space.

The Future of Downtown San Francisco

SPUR Report March 2, 2009
How can we bring more jobs into the region's most transit-rich employment center? SPUR proposes a sustainable plan for transit-oriented job growth in the Bay Area.

A Mid-life Crisis for Regional Rail

SPUR Report October 17, 2008
Building a better rail system is critical for the Bay Area. The top priority should be expanding capacity in the urban cores of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. SPUR recommends five ways to make this happen.

The Northern California Megaregion

Urbanist Article November 1, 2007
The Northern California megaregion, 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.

A New Transit-First Neighborhood

SPUR Report July 1, 2007
Caltrain's surface rail yards represent enormous opportunities for San Francisco. In this report, SPUR proposes a plan to knit together Mission Bay with neighborhoods to the north and west.

Keeping California on Track

Urbanist Article June 1, 2007
Building high-speed rail in California could reinforce cities as the hubs of our economies and significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. So why is the proposal languishing?

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