Economic Development

Our goal: Lay the foundations of economic prosperity — for everyone.

SPUR's economic development agenda:

• Grow our own firms; don't try to lure them from other places.
• Make sure the high cost of locating in the Bay Area is worth it.
• Align workforce and economic development strategies.
• Strengthen our public education system.
• Maintain enough industrial land.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • SPUR Report

    Economic Prosperity Strategy

    The Bay Area has one of the strongest economies in the world, but its benefits are not universally shared. How can we make sure the region’s rising economic tide lifts all boats? We identify a three-pronged approach to economic mobility for low- and moderate-wage workers.

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  • Ongoing Initiative

    The Future of Work

    In the last three decades, employment has spread from city centers to car-centric, low-density office parks. How can we move more jobs to places served by transit? SPUR looks at how to make this shift while strengthening innovation, job growth and the prosperity of the Bay Area.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Francisco

    To achieve a low-carbon future, Bay Area residents need to be able to commute to work without a car. Our best strategy is to channel more employment into existing centers, particularly transit-rich downtown San Francisco. SPUR proposes a sustainable plan for transit-oriented job growth in the Bay Area.

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  • SPUR Report

    The Future of Downtown San Jose

    Downtown San Jose is the densest, most walkable, most transit-oriented place in the South Bay. It’s now poised to benefit from the growing trend toward working and living in urban centers. But downtown needs more people. SPUR identifies six strategies for a more successful and active downtown.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Downtown for Everyone

    Downtown Oakland is enjoying a renaissance, but the future is not guaranteed. An economic boom could stall before it gets going — or take off in a way that harms Oakland’s character, culture and diversity. We propose five big ideas for how downtown Oakland can grow while providing benefits to all.

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  • SPUR Report

    Organizing for Economic Growth

    San Francisco faces a major question about how to organize and pay for economic development work. SPUR explores what the city’s model should be for carrying out business formation, retention and attraction.

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  • Find more of SPUR's economic development research

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Updates and Events

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 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.

Tackling Inequality

Urbanist Article September 24, 2019
Collaboration has been key to solving’s Miami's most pressing challenges around housing, transit and access to economic opportunity.

SPUR responds to City of San Jose proposed General Plan Four-Year Review Scope of Work

Policy Letter July 25, 2019
SPUR weighs in on city staff recommendations for the scope of work for the San Jose General Plan four-year review, which will begin in the fall of 2019. SPUR supported staff recommendations but proposed additional items to be considered by the Task Force. The letter address SPUR's recommendations for consideration by city council.

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