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.

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  • 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.

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

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Updates and Events

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.

World Series Also a Victory for BART

News November 4, 2010
[Photo Credit: flickr user NicoleAbalde ] As those who follow the Bay Area transit blogosphere already know, Wednesday's Giants World Series victory parade spurred BART on to its highest ridership ever"” by a huge margin . The system carried over half a million riders — 522,000 to be exact, which beat the previous record (from Oct 29, 2009, when the Bay Bridge was closed for emergency repairs) by 18%. BART wasn't the only regional system with a bumper day either : Caltrain carried 25,000 — 30,000 more riders than an average weekday (about 37,000 riders), and Golden Gate Transit more than doubled its typical ridership of 5,200, taking 12,800 people into the city. While it was great for so many Giants fans to choose mass transit, the crowds put a spotlight on BART's capacity issues — at one point, the crowds were large enough to require a temporary closure of...

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