SPUR Welcomes Laura Shipman as Community Planning Policy Director

Laura Shipman

SPUR is pleased to announce that Laura Shipman has joined the organization as community planning policy director. She brings a wealth of knowledge as a planner and urban designer with experience working in communities throughout the Bay Area and across the country.

Laura joins SPUR from One Treasure Island, where she served most recently as director of community development and planning. The organization’s mission is to foster an inclusive community on Treasure Island that provides pathways for economic advancement for lower-income San Franciscans, including those who have experienced homelessness. The island is a former naval base undergoing redevelopment, which will significantly increase the population over the coming decades. Working in partnership with residents, stakeholders, government agencies and the private development team, Laura focused on planning and advocating for community facilities, retail, housing and transportation options designed to address the needs of lower-income community members, while also exploring strategies to promote community building and cohesion among residents of all income levels.

Laura gained experience developing a wide range of plans and design guidelines as a planner coordinator and urban designer with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. She also worked as an urban designer and planner in the Berkeley planning firm MIG, consulting primarily with local governments and nonprofit organizations. 

In all of her work as a designer, planner and affordable housing developer, Laura has integrated stakeholders to build consensus and help ensure long-term community support. She began her career in participatory design as a Design Corps Fellow, and also worked as an Enterprise Community Partners Rose Fellow and project manager in San Francisco, developing permanent supportive housing.

Laura has also served on several nonprofit and public boards, including America Walks, Design Corps, the Association for Community Design and the Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Citizens Advisory Board. She holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning. 

In her role as community planning policy director, Laura will work to implement SPUR’s vision for change, focusing on community and neighborhood plans, public space and urban design. She looks forward to partnering with Bay Area communities to work toward lasting solutions to their most pressing needs.