SPUR Planning Policy Area


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

What It Will Take to Make the Howard Terminal Ballpark Project a Home Run for Oakland

News /
The Howard Terminal Ballpark Project represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the City of Oakland. In addition to keeping the A’s from moving, it could help the city realize benefits ranging from well-paying jobs and affordable housing to infrastructure and environmental improvements. But if not well-managed, the project could displace residents in adjacent West Oakland and Chinatown and create congestion, safety risks, and potential disruptions for the Port of Oakland. SPUR is advocating for ways to ensure the project reaches its potential.

Why San José Should Make Guadalupe River Park a Focal Point of Its Downtown Economic Development

News /
Well-designed, well-maintained, and well-programmed parks and open spaces are important components of cities’ equitable economic development strategies thanks to their social, environmental, and community-building benefits. Revitalizing Guadalupe River Park and Gardens could help San José achieve its goals as it pursues economic development downtown. Along with SPUR research, responses to a SPUR survey in an online exhibition suggest how stakeholders can positively re-shape the spatial dynamic between community and ecology as well as center equity and inclusion in the park’s reactivation.

SPUR Provides Comments to the Oakland A's on the Howard Terminal Ballpark Project

Advocacy Letter
SPUR sent a letter to the Oakland A's regarding the current status of the Howard Terminal ballpark project. Overall, SPUR believes that the project is an exciting opportunity for Oakland and an appropriate use of the Howard Terminal site. However, there are several pieces of the project where SPUR has concerns or questions, which are detailed in the letter.

SPUR Comments on the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan's Draft Zoning Amendments

Advocacy Letter
SPUR sent a letter to Oakland’s Planning Department with comments on the Draft Zoning Amendments for the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan (DOSP). Overall, SPUR feels that the DOSP is a well-written document that demonstrates a clear dedication to the success of Oakland's downtown. The Draft Zoning Amendments are a key element in ensuring that the DOSP's goals are realized. In the letter, SPUR offers multiple recommendations on how they can be improved to best support these goals.

2022 Election Delivers Mixed Results for SPUR Priorities

News /
SPUR developed several ballot measures during the latest election cycle, and its research heavily influenced a handful of others. Bay Area voters considered measures on streamlining housing approvals, continuing pandemic-era slow streets programs, enacting good government reforms and funding programs to address air quality and climate change. While we didn’t win ’em all, we’re pleased to see a number of SPUR’s ideas gaining traction around the region.