A nonprofit organization

2 donors

A member-supported nonprofit organization, SPUR brings people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems our cities face. Read SPUR's Agenda for Change >>

SPUR originated in San Francisco in 1910 and launched a San Jose office in 2012. (Read more about our decision to expand to San Jose.) Our work spans eight program areas: Community Planning, Disaster Planning, Economic Development, Good Government, Housing, Regional Planning, Sustainable Development and Transportation.

Our organization began over one hundred years ago 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. Our organization has 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, we embarked on a new chapter in our history with the launch of our San Jose office. We are currently in discussions to expand our work to Oakland, so we can focus on all three of the region’s central cities. (Read more about our central city strategy.)

Join our movement for a better city >>

Organization Data


Organization name


Tax id (EIN)



Education Environment Community


76 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113


(415) 781-8726