• News

    A look at urban issues in the Bay Area and beyond

Lessons for Guadalupe River Park: How D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Park Promotes Inclusion

September 5, 2018 By Joshua Brett, Teresa Alvarado and Jaclyn Tidwell
The proposed transformation of downtown San Jose opens up an opportunity to create iconic and welcoming public spaces where the community can gather. That's why SPUR has launched a major initiative to re-envision the Guadalupe River Park. We invited Scott Kratz of Washington, D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park to share lessons learned from the inclusive effort to realize the community’s ambitions for the project.

Tools for Minding, and Mending, Transportation Gaps

August 29, 2018 By SPUR Staff
Gaps in the Bay Area transportation system make it challenging for riders to use the many services available: gaps in service, gaps in information, gaps between how the transit network functions today and how it could be. This year SPUR’s Transit + Design Workshops focused on research and design tools to help fill in the gaps that detract from a great customer experience.

How Can San Jose Bring Urban Villages to Life?

August 7, 2018 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
In May, the San Jose City Council took an important step toward realizing the city’s general plan when it approved a framework for implementing neighborhood plans known as urban village plans. SPUR strongly supports these steps but believes that even bigger ones must be taken in order for urban villages to succeed. Here are three ways to ensure they live up to their promise.

Lessons for Guadalupe River Park: Thinking Big Together to Plan the Los Angeles River

August 6, 2018 By Joshua Brett and Jaclyn Tidwell
As downtown San Jose grows, the city has a unique opportunity to reimagine the underutilized Guadalupe River Park as the green centerpiece of an expanded city center. Omar Brownson of River LA recently visited SPUR to share his experience leading the charge to revitalize the Los Angeles River. The group’s focus on a collective vision offers lessons for San Jose and Guadalupe River Park.

Why You Need to Vote No on the Gas Tax Repeal

July 16, 2018 By Allison Arieff, Editorial Director
Last year's passage of state transportation funding bill SB1 represented a monumental win for California and the Bay Area. But this victory may have been short-lived: Proposition 6, a ballot measure to repeal SB1, will go to California voters in November. The proposed repeal is a vote against safe streets, roads and infrastructure in favor of greater subsidies for driving.

San Jose's First BART Station: More Than a Transit Project

July 12, 2018 By Jaclyn Tidwell, San Jose Policy Director 
The opening of San Jose’s first BART station marks an important moment for the city. After decades of planning, San Jose will finally connect to the regional rail system. But the potential benefits extend far beyond the station. The city has a unique chance to create a dynamic urban village at Berryessa, its first station, and set a strong precedent for future station area development.

Remembering Michael Painter

July 5, 2018 By Egon Terplan and Benjamin Grant
Noted landscape architect Michael Painter, a former SPUR board member, board chair and 2014 Silver SPUR Award honoree, passed away on June 28. Michael’s long and prolific career left a great legacy in the Bay Area and across the country, with 856 finished projects and 49 years of service.

How to Be a Local Government Change Maker

July 5, 2018 By Susannah Parsons, Chief of Staff
Since 2008, the City Halls Fellows program has placed college graduates in local governments around the U.S. At a recent SPUR forum , former fellows and city employees discussed their experiences and advice on what it takes to make change in local government — both how to have impact as a citizen and how to make innovative changes in government from the inside out.

At Last, the Tide Turns on Downtown Oakland’s Office Market

July 3, 2018 By Robert Ogilvie, Oakland Director
Downtown Oakland now has the tightest commercial market in the country, with a vacancy rate of 5.3 percent. As a result, commercial rents in downtown Oakland have shot up. After many years of construction costs stubbornly remaining higher than commercial rents, it has finally become financially feasible to build new office buildings downtown.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Affordable Housing: A Primer

June 21, 2018 By Kristy Wang, Community Planning Policy Director
The dramatic escalation of housing prices in the Bay Area has sparked a lot of discussion about affordability — but what do we mean by “affordable” housing? Who is it for? How is it funded and created? Our primer explains all.

Get Email Updates

Get SPUR news and events delivered straight to your email inbox.

Sign up now