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

Downtown San José’s Momentum Slowed but Not Stopped

News October 23, 2020
After decades of efforts to attract investment, downtown San José was experiencing a rare moment in the spotlight before COVID-19. Big project announcements from Google, Adobe and others seemed to put within reach San José’s decades-old aspiration to become a lively urban center. Now, as the pandemic drags on, residents are left to wonder how much of downtown’s previous momentum will carry through the crisis.

Silicon Valley Roundtable: Recovering From the Pandemic Means Addressing Systemic Injustice

News October 23, 2020
Leaders in Silicon Valley are looking at the innovations that might emerge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is clear: This time, it won’t be an engineering solution. The Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable, launched to help businesses safely reopen, realized that its goal was not to return to “normal” but to repair the systemic disparities that existed before the pandemic.

SPUR Co-Sponsors Bill to Make Sustainable Transportation an Essential Part of California’s Recovery

News August 5, 2020
Senate Bill 288, co-sponsored by SPUR, aims to accelerate sustainable transportation projects and jumpstart a green recovery, creating jobs and reviving local economies while improving public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. California can get projects — and jobs — going by taking a hard look at the regulatory processes that slow down, stop or increase the cost of sustainable transportation projects.

How Cities Can Support Ground Floor Business Survival

News June 24, 2020
SPUR has released Keeping the Doors Open, a set of 10 recommendations for cities to implement as they work to assist ground floor businesses in reopening while shelter-in-place orders remain in effect. We recommend three principles to keep in mind: move quickly and remain flexible, focus on neighborhoods, and center equity in the allocation of resources and staff time.

Four Tools for Stimulating Economic Recovery Through New Homebuilding

News June 23, 2020
During the last recession, homebuilding ground to a halt. We can’t let the same thing happen this time. What can be done to keep the pipeline of new housing open through this crisis and recovery? SPUR and the Terner Center offer four principles to help guide new housing construction and facilitate economic recovery.

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