SPUR Planning Policy Area

Planning

Our goal: Add new jobs and housing where they will support equity and sustainability, and make neighborhoods safe and welcoming to everyone.

SPUR’s Five-Year Priorities:

• Ensure that communities are safe, inclusive and equipped to meet all residents’ daily needs with a diverse mix of businesses and services.

• Prioritize investment in and access to parks, nature and public spaces as a driver for social cohesion and economic opportunity.

• Ensure that regionally significant neighborhood plans in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland advance equity, sustainability and prosperity.

 

Read our policy agenda

SPUR Report

Model Places

Over the next 50 years, the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to gain as many as 4 million people and 2 million jobs. In a region where a crushing housing shortage is already threatening quality of life, how can we welcome new residents and jobs without paving over green spaces or pushing out long-time community members?

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?

SPUR Report

The Future of Downtown San José

Downtown San José 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.

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.

SPUR Report

Getting to Great Places

Silicon Valley, the most dynamic and innovative economic engine in the world, is not creating great urban places. Having grown around the automobile, the valley consists largely of lowslung office parks, surface parking and suburban tract homes. SPUR’s report Getting to Great Places diagnoses the impediments San José faces in creating excellent, walkable urban places and recommends changes in policy and practice that will help meet these goals.

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.

Updates and Events


From Temporary to Transformative

SPUR Report
During the COVID-19 pandemic, cities across the country piloted shared public spaces and slow streets. In a matter of weeks, these temporary changes transformed city streets in ways that would otherwise have taken years. The crisis injected the planning process with a sense of urgency and a willingness to experiment. How can San Francisco and other cities make these changes permanent? SPUR's new report captures lessons learned and offers 18 recommendations for how to build on what's been started.

San José City Council Should Embrace a New Vision for Coyote Valley

News /
San José is on the cusp of deepening its commitment to growing up, rather than out. The city has a unique and critical opportunity to concentrate growth within its existing urbanized areas rather than sprawling further. But it will miss a critical opportunity unless the City Council accepts the recommendations of the Planning Department and the Envision San José 2040 General Plan Four Year Review Task Force related to Coyote Valley.

The Bay Area Won’t Meet Its Goals Without a New Transit-Oriented Development Policy

News /
The crises that confronted the Bay Area before the COVID-19 pandemic have not gone away: inadequate and unaffordable housing, growing racial inequality and growing impacts from climate change. Building diverse communities with much more housing, services and jobs near transit is the best opportunity we have to tackle these challenges. The newly released Plan Bay Area 2050 charts a path to this future, but an outdated policy from 2005 is standing in the way.

Guadalupe River Park: A Shared Future in Downtown San José

SPUR Report
As downtown San José expands to the west, Guadalupe River Park is poised to become the center of downtown, and its health will become fundamental to the city’s success. Renewed support, enhanced stewardship and a sustainable funding stream will be needed to realize the park’s potential, so that this vital public space can become safer, cleaner and better used by all members of the community.

The Bigger Picture: Nine Ideas for a Connected San Francisco

SPUR Report
Today San Francisco’s regional transit connections focus primarily on bringing commuters from the rest of the Bay Area into downtown. Many neighborhoods have poor access to regional transit service — and to each other. The fourth report in our Bigger Picture series proposes coordinated investments in San Francisco transportation that, together, could dramatically improve transportation access and connections to the region.