About SPUR San Jose
SPUR San Jose launched in January 2012 and is located within the office of 1stACT Silicon Valley. Our goal is to promote good planning and good government in San Jose through research, education and advocacy. We approach this work by bringing together a broad spectrum of people who share our interests in urbanism to work on the most important issues and opportunities facing northern California's largest city.
Building on a century of urban policy work, this is the first foray SPUR has made into a city outside of San Francisco. We will experiment with novel approaches to policy change, new ways to convene thought leaders and creative strategies for making a positive impact on the city. We will be facilitating a series of public events starting in late spring 2012 and will begin undertaking focused policy studies later in the year.
SPUR began in 1910 as the San Francisco Housing Association, focused on improving buildings standards following the 1906 earthquake. The first SPUR report was published in 1911, resulting in the State Tenement House Act of 1911. SFHA advocated for public housing through the 1930s. In 1942 it merged with Telesis, a group of young planners and architects, to become the San Francisco Planning and Housing Association. Its focus expanded to take on regional growth planning, transportation and economic revitalization, in addition to housing.
In 1959, the organization changed its name to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Renewal Association, reflecting its endorsement of efforts to use federal urban renewal programs to revitalize depressed inner-city neighborhoods. Following the passage of Prop 13, and a growing focus on fiscal policy and public management, the organization changed its name to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.
Over its history, SPUR has built support for land use, transportation and investment strategies to support center-oriented growth and urban economic vitality. SPUR has been involved with virtually every major planning decision in San Francisco, and many of the big regional decisions as well.
In 2012, SPUR embarked on a new chapter in its history with the launch of a three-year pilot project in San Jose. After years of bringing a regionalist perspective to bear on urban policy problems, we believe SPUR can make a difference in other major cities of the Bay Area. Our long-term vision is to work in all three of the region’s big cities — San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland — to support economic vitality, walkability, sustainability, transit-oriented development, effective governance, sound tax policy and all the other issues SPUR is known for. Read more about our central city strategy.
SPUR is a member-supported, nonprofit organization. Join our movement!