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

How California Can Stop Sprawl, Reduce Emissions and Strengthen Regional Economies — All at the Same Time

News October 28, 2019
California can address many of its issues at once by adding new jobs and housing around passenger rail stations. In September, SPUR partnered with Governor Newsom's Regions Rise Together initiative to hold a half-day workshop for California cities with rail stations. Together we asked: How can the state help cities spur compact growth and economic development near rail?

Four Trends Shaping the Future of Downtown San Jose

News October 16, 2019
San Jose — long known as the bedroom community for Silicon Valley — has struggled to grow its job base. But four new trends in downtown development may be about to change that. In 2014, SPUR made recommendations for how to encourage growth downtown. Five years later, we are seeing these ideas unfold — with positive indications for San Jose’s financial footing.

SPUR weighs in on SF Planning Director desired qualifications

Policy Letter September 27, 2019
In the wake of John Rahaim's announced retirement, the San Francisco Planning Commission held a hearing on desired qualifications for the next planning director. SPUR weighed in with policy priorities and key characteristics of the next director.

SPUR provides comments on the City of San Jose proposed extension of the downtown high-rise incentive program

Policy Letter September 24, 2019
SPUR supports staff recommendation to extend the downtown high-rise incentive program until 2023. While we believe that downtown must have a large concentration of jobs to support transit, it is also important to maximize the potential of high-rise residential development downtown. This program helps ease the financial burden due to the cost of construction and land to help spur greater development in the urban core.

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