SPUR, formerly known as the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, is a non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization focused on issues of planning and governance in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
Origins: San Francisco Housing Association, 1910
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 San Francisco earthquake and fire. That group, the San Francisco Housing Association, authored a hard-hitting report which led to the State Tenement House Act of 1911.
Merged organization: San Francisco Planning and Housing Association
In the 1930s, SFHA continued to advocate for housing concerns. In the 1940s, SFHA merged with Telesis, a group of graduates from UC Berkeley's city planning program, to become the San Francisco Planning and Housing Association. In 1942, the association landed a major success with the creation of San Francisco's Department of City Planning.
During the 1950s, SFPHA pushed for the revitalization of San Francisco as the Bay Area's central city, in an effort to curb suburban sprawl and channel growth back into the urban core.
San Francisco Planning and Urban Renewal Associations, 1959-
In 1959, the San Francisco Planning and Housing Association was reorganized into the San Francisco Planning and Urban Renewal Association and, in 1977, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. The group has helped shape some of the most important planning decisions in the region, from the founding of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) to the preservation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
- DeMars, Vernon Armand. "A Life in Architecture: Indian Dancing, Migrant Housing, Telesis, Design for Urban Living, Theater, Teaching." [oral history]. Section on Telesis, from interview Feb 17, 1989. http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=kt938nb53j;NAAN=13030&doc.view=frames&chunk.id=d0e8699&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e8699&brand=oac4.
- Wikipedia. "San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Bay_Area_Planning_and_Urban_Research_Association.