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

Sheltering in Place Reveals How Much Parking Dominates Our Cities — and Lives

News April 27, 2020
Shelter in place has made it starkly evident just how much space cities allocate to cars and parking. The City of San José is currently considering changes to the amount of parking it requires of new development. All of this makes it a good time to unpack the many ways that parking impacts neighborhoods and quality of life.

SPUR Supports Discounted Land Prices for Affordable Housing Projects on BART Property

Policy Letter April 27, 2020
SPUR supports proposed amendments to BART's transit-oriented development policy that would offer land discounts to projects that provide affordable homes. These amendments are practical tools that will help produce affordable housing at BART station areas. Transit-oriented development that includes both market-rate and affordable housing is critical in the effort to build a sustainable and equitable region.

One Simple Way SF Can Get More Affordable Housing and Public Benefits

News February 26, 2020
San Francisco supervisors are about to vote on a plan amendment that would bring affordable housing, community benefits and open space improvements to the Market Octavia area. Some are calling for the amendment to set affordability and public benefit requirements even higher. But the way to get the most benefit for San Francisco from this proposal is simply to pass it as it stands.

SPUR supports the Sequoia Station transit-oriented redevelopment in Redwood City

Policy Letter February 17, 2020
SPUR's Project Review Advisory Board endorses the Sequoia Station proposal as it is currently envisioned. This is a key site for transit-oriented development in the region, and this proposal shows great potential to create an exemplary station area in Redwood City and to support the city’s broader visioning process for the Transit District and central Redwood City.

Leading With Public Space: The Case for Guadalupe River Park

News January 30, 2020
We are excited to announce that, through investment made by the Knight Foundation and in partnership with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, SPUR will embark on a three-year research and planning project for Guadalupe River Park. Our work will focus on understanding the park’s current challenges, investigating what is possible, raising community understanding and awareness, and inspiring a conversation around the power of place.

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