SPUR is a member-supported nonprofit organization that promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area. With offices in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, they are recognized as a leading civic planning organization and respected for their independent and holistic approach to urban issues such as community planning, disaster planning, economic development, good government, housing, regional planning, sustainable development, and transportation. Members receive their acclaimed magazine, The Urbanist, and free or reduced admission to more than 200 events a year.
SPUR began in 1910, when a group of San Francisco city leaders came together to improve the quality of housing after the 1906 earthquake and fire. Known then as the San Francisco Housing Association, the group wrote a hard-hitting report that resulted in the State Tenement House Act of 1911. SFHA advocated for public housing through the 1930s. In 1942 it merged with Telesis, a group of young planners and architects, and expanded its focus to take on regional growth planning, transportation and economic revitalization.
Throughout the next half-century, the organization was at the forefront of the modern planning movement, leading efforts to create San Francisco’s first master plan, establish a professional planning department and fight for central city revitalization in the face of suburban population flight. They have helped shape some of the most important planning issues in the region, from the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, from San Francisco’s groundbreaking 1973 “transit first” policy to its 2012 affordable housing trust fund.
In 2012, SPUR embarked on a new chapter in their history with the launch of their San Jose office, initiating a long-range plan to work in all three of the Bay Area’s central cities. In 2015, they fulfilled this vision by expanding our work to Oakland.