SPUR San José: Incubated and Launched

SVCREATES (then 1stACT Silicon Valley) was introduced to the 100 year old SPUR organization in 2009 when attending the opening of its new Urban Center location in San Francisco. The level of civic pride, engagement, and ownership in San Francisco’s future was palpable, and seen as an incredible opportunity for advancing SVCREATES’ community building and place making agenda through arts, culture, urban planning, and design in San José.

The courtship began. Over the next two and a half years, SVCREATES hosted a San José City tour for SPUR board members, socialized “the idea” of a SPUR San José with local leaders, raised over $500,000 in seed funding, prototyped an organizational model, helped recruit SPUR San José’s first director, and provided administrative support and incubation space for its opening in 2012.

Today, SPUR San José has a high-functioning local board and staff. It has substantially grown the number of civic leaders and urbanists who care, and are engaged in important public policy debates shaping San José’s future and that of our region.