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.

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  • 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

San Jose and San Francisco at a Glance

Urbanist Article August 1, 2010
Each spring, SPUR takes an annual city trip to learn about urbanist strategies that are working — or not working — in other cities around the world. This year we turned our lense to our own region and hopped on a Caltrain baby bullet to San Jose. With a population of about one million, San Jose is now the largest city in Northern California. In a generation it could have twice the population of San Francisco. Here's a look at the differences and similiarities today between the populations of San Jose and San Franicsco. Click any image to enlarge. Sources: All data from 2006-2008 American Community Survey, Census Quick Facts , except the following: Population: San Jose Planning Data , ABAG Building Momentum; Share of Region: Bay Area Census , Bay Area Census: San Francisco County , San Jose PLanning Data , ABAG Building Momentum; Work Location: 2010 San Jose Economic Develpment Strategy.

Sharing the Wealth

Urbanist Article August 1, 2010
Facing the loss of over 50,000 jobs since the onset of the 2008 recession, the City of San Jose embarked on a major update of its economic strategy. What is San Jose's approach to regaining the jobs and revenue it has lost while also investing for future success?

Retrofitting Suburbia, San Jose Style

Urbanist Article August 1, 2010
Facing the prospect of extraordinary population and job growth, San Jose planners have a choice: to let the city grow out, or up. How will they retrofit San Jose's car-oriented development pattern into thriving, walkable communities?

Waves of Innovation

Urbanist Article August 1, 2010
Facing the prospect of extraordinary population and job growth, San Jose planners have a choice: to let the city grow out, or up. How will they retrofit San Jose's car-oriented development pattern into thriving, walkable communities?

Transit in the Valley

Urbanist Article August 1, 2010
The South Bay has particular challenges when it comes to transit—a robust network of light-rail and buses, but some of the lowest ridership numbers in the country. Can better land-use policy help?

HSR Report: France

News July 28, 2010
As California lays the high-speed rail groundwork, SPUR continues its series on international precedents . While France built high-speed rail two decades after Japan and within a different state apparatus, the system had remarkably similar results: growth and concentration. France teaches us that a state investment in high-speed rail (HSR) can have major impacts on places that are isolated and suffering from lagging economic performance. The examples of Lille, an old industrial and mining center in northern France, and Nantes, south of Paris, are often cited as success stories. Euralille [Photo Credit: flickr user savourama ] Lille is an important crossroads in the European HSR network with service to London, Paris and Brussels. Once a quickly depopulating and gritty industrial city, Lille has diversified into knowledge-intensive, service-producing activities. Euralille, the new retail, business and conference center designed by Dutch powerhouse architect, Rem Koolhaas and OMA, is illustrative of the makeover...

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