Community Planning

Our goal: Build great neighborhoods.

SPUR's community planning agenda:

• Conduct neighborhood planning within a regional context.
• Preserve our most important historic resources while allowing for growth and change.
• Create new buildings that exemplify the highest quality architecture.
• Make public spaces that people love to spend time in.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change

Neighborhood Planning

  • SPUR Report

    Taking Down a Freeway to Reconnect a Neighborhood

    Highway 280 and the Caltrain railyards create barriers between SoMa, Potrero Hill and Mission Bay. But San Francisco has the opportunity to advance bold new ideas to enhance both the transportation system and the public realm.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Francisco

    The movement of jobs to suburban office parks is as much of a threat to the environment as residential sprawl — if not a greater one. Our best strategy is to channel more job growth to existing centers, like transit-rich downtown San Francisco.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Jose

    Downtown San Jose is the most walkable, transit-oriented place in the South Bay. But it needs more people. SPUR identifies six big ideas for achieving a more successful and active downtown.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Downtown for Everyone

    Downtown Oakland is poised to take on a more important role in the region. But the future is not guaranteed. An economic boom could stall — or take off in a way that harms the city’s character, culture and diversity. How can downtown grow while providing benefits to all?

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  • Urbanist Article

    The Future of the Berryessa BART Station

    As BART arrives in Silicon Valley, San Jose has a unique chance to shape growth around its first station. Land uses that support BART ridership will be key to the success of Berryessa Station — and the future of the area around it.

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Public Spaces

  • SPUR Report

    Getting to Great Places

    San Jose's ambitious General Plan imagines a dramatic shift away from suburban landscapes to “complete neighborhoods” that provide services and amenities close to homes, jobs and transit. SPUR recommends changes in policy and practice to get there.

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  • White Paper

    A Roadmap for St. James Park

    Like older downtown parks throughout the country, San Jose’s St. James Park has suffered from disinvestment in recent years. SPUR recommends steps to create a renewed vision for the park through improved stewardship and governance.

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  • SPUR Report

    Secrets of San Francisco

    Dozens of office buildings in San Francisco include privately owned public open spaces or “POPOS.” SPUR evaluates these spaces and lays out recommendations to improve existing POPOS and guide the development of new ones.

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  • Piero N. Patri Fellowship

    The Piero N. Patri Fellowship in Urban Design offers firsthand experience working in the urban design and planning field on a project that will have a positive impact on San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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Historic Resources

  • SPUR Report

    Historic Preservation in San Francisco

    San Francisco's distinctive architecture is one of its great assets. It’s critical to protect this historic fabric while supporting growth and change in the right locations. How can the city integrate preservation into its processes for land use planning?

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New Buildings

  • Project Review

    SPUR'S Project Review Advisory Board looks at Bay Area development proposals of citywide or regional importance, evaluating their potential to enhance the vitality of their city and region according to SPUR’s policy priorities and principles of good placemaking.

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  • White Paper

    Cracking the Code

    Great urban design is essential to creating sustainable, walkable cities. But some city codes undermine urban design principles. How might San Jose raise the bar? By addressing the ground rules of design within the municipal code.

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Advanced Search

  • Find more of SPUR's community planning research

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Updates and Events

SPUR Expresses Support for Redevelopment of Reid-Hillview Airport

Policy Letter November 17, 2020
As the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors continues to consider closing the Reid-Hillview Airport and repurposing the site to better meet community needs including development of affordable housing, SPUR has expressed its support for this move. The Board has adopted a Vision Statement and is reviewing options for a Vision Plan based on resident input gathered during outreach and engagement events.

SPUR Leads Coalition Calling on Cupertino to allow for Public Process on Increase in Transportation Impact Fees

Policy Letter November 17, 2020
SPUR joined with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, SV@Home and the Bay Area Council to urge the Cupertino City Council to conduct a thorough stakeholder process that includes input from the development community and undertake a feasibility analysis to study the effect on development of increased transportation impact fees. The new fee would raise transportation impacts fees by more than 40%.

Equity and the Public Realm: Designing Spaces for Everyone

News October 28, 2020
Who determines how public spaces are used, and who gets to use them? SPUR’s weeklong symposium Ideas + Action 2020: Public Space brought people together from different cities to share their perspectives regarding equitable public spaces. A set of themes emerged: Building equitable public spaces requires a public and professional reckoning with power, safety and accessibility.

Silicon Valley Roundtable: Recovering From the Pandemic Means Addressing Systemic Injustice

News October 23, 2020
Leaders in Silicon Valley are looking at the innovations that might emerge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is clear: This time, it won’t be an engineering solution. The Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable, launched to help businesses safely reopen, realized that its goal was not to return to “normal” but to repair the systemic disparities that existed before the pandemic.

Core Principles to Guide the Redevelopment of Moffett Park

Policy Letter September 30, 2020
The redevelopment of Moffett Park is a project of critical regional significance. The area offers significant opportunities to advance our region's housing, environmental, economic, and transit goals. SPUR has joined with SV@Home, Greenbelt Alliance, the Bay Area Housing Action Coalition, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the Bay Area Council to lay out some core principles that should guide Sunnyvale's development.

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