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

SPUR Supports the San José Al Fresco Initiative

Policy Letter May 28, 2020
Outdoor community connections are essential for our wellbeing, quality of life, and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic. SPUR supports the proposed San José Al Fresco Initiative to reopen businesses safely and further recommends additional policy measures to support small business and commercial districts throughout San José.

A Stimulus Will Put People to Work Faster by Building Lots of Smaller, Cleaner Projects

News May 26, 2020
Our state is in dire need of an infrastructure stimulus designed to put people back to work quickly. A traditional stimulus that funds huge, singular infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam won't cut it. Instead, we need thousands of smaller, distributed projects that will get people back to work immediately, train them in fast-growing jobs and generate a healthier, low-carbon future of California.

SPUR Urges Congress to Include Another $1.3 Billion for Transit Funding in Fourth Federal Rescue Package

Policy Letter May 12, 2020
SPUR urges Congress to: 1. Provide at least $1.3 billion to Bay Area transit for 18 months to enable states, regions, and local governments to help maintain our transit system and keep projects moving. 2. Provide a supplemental, large-scale transportation investment in the form of a Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act reauthorization. 3. Advance policies aimed at expediting transit and sustainable transportation project delivery.

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.

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