Regional Planning

Our goal: Concentrate growth inside existing cities.

SPUR's regional planning agenda:


• Focus housing growth in existing communities.
• Add new jobs in transit-accessible employment centers.
• Retrofit suburban office parks to increase density.
• Strengthen our regional agencies.
• Explore tax sharing.


Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • White Paper

    Improving Regional Planning in the Bay Area

    Many attempts have been made to foster better collaboration between the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. A proposal to establish a merged planning department has again opened up the discussion about the future of regional planning in the Bay Area. SPUR recommends studying a full merger of the two agencies.

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  • Report

    Strengthening the Bay Area's Regional Governance

    The Bay Area economy has rebounded from the recession, but major regional challenges threaten our continued prosperity. SPUR makes the case that some of the biggest threats to the Bay Area’s long-term economic competitiveness are best addressed through better regional governance.

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  • Advocacy Letter

    SPUR’s Comments on Plan Bay Area

    Plan Bay Area is an important step forward in comprehensive regional planning in the Bay Area. Our comments on the plan address the gap between our vision of a more concentrated region and the tools available to achieve it.

    Read More
  • 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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  • The Urbanist

    The Northern California Megaregion

    Northern California, home to 14 million people, is expected to add at least 10 million people by 2050. How we plan for and accommodate that growth is the defining question for urban planning in Northern California today.

    Read More
  • SPUR Report

    Beyond the Tracks

    California cities anticipating the rewards of new high-speed rail stations may fail to reap the full economic and environmental benefits without key land-use planning. SPUR identifies strategies that will contribute to the success of high-speed rail and help realize the full potential of this multi-billion-dollar system.

    Read More
  • Find more of SPUR's regional planning research

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Updates and Events

Giving Old Infrastructure New Life

Urbanist Article July 29, 2019
A fast, frequent megaregional rail network could be transformative for the Bay Area and Northern California. As part of the SPUR Regional Strategy, we are working to identify some of the major changes needed to implement this vision.

SPUR Recommends Prioritization of User Experience at Diridon Station

Policy Letter June 21, 2019
SPUR recommend that local boards and partner agencies at Diridon Station use the lens of user experience to evaluate the proposed elements and scenarios for the spatial configuration of this multimodal hub. User experience is critical to whether people will embrace the station — be it to take a transit trip, meet with friends in the station area, or live or work in San Jose.

SPUR Comments on Caltrain Service Delivery and Governance

Policy Letter June 6, 2019
SPUR commend Caltrain for taking on questions about how it should be organized to deliver services effectively as part of the business plan. In this letter SPUR outlines four goals for Caltrain's future service delivery and governance models and provides best practices about how rail networks are delivered and managed in other countries.

SPUR Supports Rail Corridor Plan for San Jose and Inter-Agency Agreement

Policy Letter June 4, 2019
SPUR supports a Rail Corridor Plan for San José and Inter-Agency Agreement and provides recommendations to help develop the Rail Corridor Plan's scope of work and the Inter-Agency Agreement. This effort can further promote collaboration in developing a seamless and integrated rail network across the Bay Area and Northern California Megaregion.

SPUR Comments on MTC's Futures Round 2 Analysis

Policy Letter June 3, 2019
MTC and ABAG, as part of the Horizons effort, sought input on the strategies that will assess projects for inclusion in Plan Bay Area 2050. SPUR believes the Futures Round 2 analysis can be bolder and more strategic. Our letter included several overarching comments about the analysis, as well as specific comments related to several of the proposed strategies.

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