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

At Last, the Tide Turns on Downtown Oakland’s Office Market

News July 3, 2018
Downtown Oakland now has the tightest commercial market in the country, with a vacancy rate of 5.3 percent. As a result, commercial rents in downtown Oakland have shot up. After many years of construction costs stubbornly remaining higher than commercial rents, it has finally become financially feasible to build new office buildings downtown.

The Urgency to Achieve an Inclusive Economy in the Bay Area

Urbanist Article May 29, 2018
The latest tech boom has stretched the Bay Area’s income inequality gap to its widest level in decades. Can we figure out how to ensure that this growth is created by, and benefits, all workers and families?

How New Approaches to the Storefront Are Reviving Retail

News February 16, 2018
New technology, changing demographics and shifting consumer preferences have caused a slump in sales at big-box stores, traditional shopping malls and downtown storefronts across the country. But innovative uses of space and new approaches to drawing customers into stores show signs of promise. A recent SPUR forum in San Jose explored how retailers are finding success locally.

The Outflow of Bay Area Residents Spreads to Higher Income Levels

Urbanist Article December 15, 2017
Over the last few years, the incomes of those moving into the Bay Area have risen faster than Bay Area wages, suggesting that the deterrence of potential newcomers is occurring at higher income levels than before. Similarly, the concurrent rise in the income of those moving out suggests that the ranks of people “crowded out” have swelled to include higher earners than ever before.

Bringing BART to Downtown San Jose: Three Things to Consider

News September 19, 2017
The extension of BART to San Jose is moving forward. The city and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors will soon vote on some major decision points: where to locate stations and what tunneling method to use. While SPUR isn’t taking a position on all of these decisions, we offer a few ways to think about each of the options.

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