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

Strategic Regional Decision-Making

Urbanist Article May 1, 2001
The article argues that transportation policy cannot achieve the best the outcomes unless it is driven by a collaborative process, uses performance measures and eliminates allocation formula.

Sprawling Beyond the Edges

Urbanist Article May 1, 2001
This article discusses how technology, NIMBY-ism and commute patterns in the Bay Area changed in the 1990s and how these factors will affect continued sprawl in the first decade of the 21st century.

A Dilemma for "Sustainable Regionalists"

Urbanist Article May 1, 2000
In the early 1990s, regional leaders declared the need for a regional forum to discuss and manage growth. Author Peter Lydon argues for an institution that would take an active role in making development more sustainable.

California High Speed Rail Project

SPUR Report November 1, 1999
SPUR’s call for a high-speed rail system addresses seven basic questions, from technology to station locations, route alignment and funding.

Smart Region, Smart Growth

Urbanist Article September 1, 1999
This article presents a smart growth alternative to the proposed $88 billion Regional Transportation Plan – better fund transit, restrict parking and integrate land use and transportation planning.

Forecasting the Future

Urbanist Article September 1, 1999
This article argues that regional agencies should use modeling and projections to clarify the environmental consequences of investments – and ultimately shift more dollars from roads to transit.

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