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

Why San Francisco Should Stop Requiring Parking in New Housing

News December 3, 2018
Housing developers in San Francisco are currently required to provide a minimum amount of parking in new buildings. What if we eliminated those requirements? Then we’d see both lowered housing prices and more efficient use of urban land. Requiring parking brings too many new cars into the city, congesting streets, taking up space needed for more housing and harming the environment.

SPUR Comments on the Central SoMa Plan

Policy Letter November 19, 2018
The Central SoMa Plan is a thoughtful and ambitious plan to improve the neighborhood for residents, workers and visitors. It will increase housing opportunities, provide significant affordability, expand green space, transform the experience of being on the street, maintain a vital mix of uses, allow a diverse mix of businesses to remain in San Francisco and more.

SPUR Community Shares Its Vision for the Bay Area in 2070

News November 19, 2018
Earlier this year, SPUR began planning its first ever regional strategy for the Bay Area, an aspirational vision of what the region could be like in the year 2070 and a roadmap for getting there. Here’s what participants in three community workshops shared about their values and vision for the region for the next half century.

Lessons for Guadalupe River Park: Denver Plans for Economic Growth Along the South Platte River

News November 7, 2018
Major plans for new jobs, housing, BART and high-speed rail connections will reshape San Jose’s urban core. Amid this planned growth, the city has an opportunity to capitalize on one of its most treasured resources, the Guadalupe River Park. Denver's River Mile plan — a proposal to transform a downtown riverfront — offers lessons for turning an underused natural resource into an urban attraction.

Getting Local Land Use Approvals Right

News October 9, 2018
What can California and its cities do to bring down the soaring costs of housing? Land entitlement is one process that could be reformed to speed up the construction of new housing and reduce costs. At a recent SPUR forum, researchers and planners discussed how state and city reforms might (or might not) streamline the approval processes.

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