What Is SPUR?
SPUR — the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association — is a nonprofit public policy organization. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems cities face. Based in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, we are recognized as a leading civic planning organization and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues.
SPUR is a member-supported organization. Join a community of thousands of individuals who care about the future of the Bay Area.
The Bay Area is a region in which all people thrive.
Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR works to create an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region.
Theory of Change
What we do
We practice urban policy, developing and advocating for ideas and reforms to bring about systems change. The decisions that shape housing, transportation, land use, economics, food access, sustainability and resilience have significant impacts on people’s lives. We also focus on governance because it’s how communities organize themselves to achieve collective goals and because we believe in the power of government as a force for good.
Where we work
We work across the nine counties of the Bay Area because the structural systems that shape people’s lives — the housing market, the transportation network, the economy — are regional. We do deep work in San Francisco, San José and Oakland because policies set in the region’s three biggest cities have widespread impact on most Bay Area residents and because local context is critical for effective policy.
What we believe
We believe that community and individual well-being are healthiest when a society achieves equity, sustainability and prosperity. Equity because systemic racism continues to create unjust and unacceptable outcomes for many members of our community. Sustainability because human well-being depends on a healthy and thriving natural environment. And prosperity because meeting individual and collective needs requires resources.
How we work
We conduct our work through research, education and advocacy because these tools have the power to change minds and shape outcomes. We believe that profound systems change requires addressing beliefs, relationships and policies, and we work at all three of these levels. We ground our work in a spirit of inquiry and a big-tent perspective that engages partners and communities across the region.