Continuing our series of member profiles, this month we're happy to feature the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, or SPUR. By joining AAO, you'll get to rub elbows with your peers at great organizations like SPUR. Be sure to check out their website and great publication, The Urbanist, and consider joining AAO today!
San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area.
SPUR's history dates back to 1910, when a group of young city leaders came together to improve the quality of housing after the 1906 earthquake and fire. After several different iterations over the subsequent decades, the organization finally became the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association in the 1950’s—to be the citizens' voice for good planning. Over the next five decades, SPUR built support for land use, transportation and investment strategies to support center-oriented growth and urban economic vitality. Since then, SPUR has been involved with virtually every major planning decision in the city. In a city dominated by single-interest politics, SPUR plays the crucial role of uniting citizens to jointly craft solutions to our common problems.
In May 2009, the opening of the 14,500 square-foot SPUR Urban Center opened a major new chapter in the life of the organization and in civic planning in San Francisco. Located in the heart of the Yerba Buena cultural district, the Urban Center provides a common ground for citizens to come together in fruitful, forward-thinking conversation.
The Urban Center serves as SPUR's new headquarters. The four-story building houses all of SPUR's activities, including:
- research and advocacy by policy directors
- frequent policy committee and task force meetings
- meetings with civic leaders and allied organizations
- lunchtime and evening forums and panel discussions
- an urban affairs library and resource center
- permanent and rotating exhibitions
SPUR's expanded work in the Urban Center will focus on educational programs in good government, public policy, urban planning and design with the ultimate goal of engaging citizens in SPUR's work and in the issues that affect the entire region.