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


SPUR and fellow advocates call on MTC to support and strengthen draft transit-oriented communities policy

Advocacy Letter
SPUR, Enterprise Community Partners, Transform, and NPH have led a coalition of advocates pushing a bold and equitable regional Transit-Oriented Communities policy. The latest draft would deliver strong residential and commercial growth around the region's transit hubs, while increasing affordability and protecting against displacement. SPUR and fellow advocates called for further action to ensure that the policy affirmatively furthers affordable housing, and limits auto-oriented development.

Housing for Everyone, the Danish Way

News /
Over the last 100 years, Denmark has taken structural and local policy implementation approaches to housing that have much to teach the Bay Area. We got to meet leaders in government, architecture, housing and sustainability who shared their insights and fielded our group’s many questions about how the city renewed its urban core without demolition and how it builds two types of housing that we don’t have: social housing and housing co-ops.

Finding a Way to Build: Can the Bay Area Learn from Copenhagen’s 1990s Reinvention?

News /
Comparing 2022 Copenhagen to the Bay Area of 2022 is like comparing apples to oranges. Aside from a few one-offs, most projects in Copenhagen would not be easily transferable to the Bay Area at scale due to foundational differences in the way our governments operate, from the national level on down. What would be more transferable would be to apply the lessons learned in the 1990s-era Copenhagen to the Bay Area in 2022.

The Sustainable City: Learning from Copenhagen’s Plan for Zero Carbon

News /
Copenhagen has set a goal to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. On our study trip this summer, we learned that the city’s commitment to sustainability is embedded in its long-range land use plans and goes back to the middle of the 20th century. Copenhagen’s success in realizing these plans comes from a strategic combination of investments and partnerships that have made it possible to create urban neighborhoods with mixed-income housing, transit access, bicycle lanes and green infrastructure. Together, all of these efforts contribute to the goal of a zero-carbon city.

SPUR supports San José's Move San José Plan and Transit First Policy

Advocacy Letter
On August 9th, San José's City Council approved Move San José, a citywide transportation plan that sets forth transportation policies focusing on achieving the City’s safety, equity, and climate goals. The city's Transit First Policy was also approved, ensuring that the city directs efforts toward making transit safer and more useful.

SPUR Comments on the San Francisco Housing Element 2022

Advocacy Letter
SPUR urges the City to develop stronger implementation mechanisms to develop specific policies and implementation strategies for equity priority geographies and cultural districts on a faster timeline, create more incentives for housing in well-resourced areas, and commit to reforming the approvals process.