San Bruno Transit Corridors Plan

City of San Bruno, California

Create a Specific Area Plan for San Bruno’s Transit Corridors Area, leveraging the City's prime location between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, its proximity to San Francisco International Airport, and the new Caltrain station.
Urban Planning
  • Urban Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Community Outreach
  • Phasing Strategy
  • Cartography


1 Year



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San Bruno Transit Corridors Plan

Specific Area Plan

The San Bruno Transit Corridors plan is a Specific Area Plan, which is a long term plan for a designated area determined by California cities to enable them to plan changes at the neighborhood level rather than site-specific level. As urban planners, MIG spearheaded the process with City staff, and economic, transit, and environmental consultants. The San Bruno Transit Corridors plan area includes the three major corridors that spans a new Caltrain station (commuter rail), a dying downtown main street, and El Camino Real, a main arterial lined with underutlized uses.


As with all urban planning projects, the San Bruno Transit Corridors Plan began with a research phase to examine existing conditions and analyze opportunities and constraints. This included existing land use, zoning, transit and circulation, population and economic conditions and projections, public spaces, inrastructure, and urban design.

Land Use

The current zoning for land use was cross examined with the projected population and economic growth of the city, which helped determine how future land uses and zoning regulations should be updated.

(Left) Aerial view of plan area.
(Right) Existing land use.

Development Strategy

The development strategy identified key areas to focus the city’s growth. Based on the city's projected population growth both city-wide and within the plan area, housing units were distributed along underutilized sites. Based on economic projections, retail and office space was planned around the downtown and the Caltrain stations. Three catalytic sites were identified, and were given more detailed guidance in the plan.

Catalytic Site Design

Downtown Gateway & Performance Center

This site is the gateway to downtown San Bruno, which competes with a nearby mall for patrons.  The gateway is unnoticeable from the main arterial, El Camino Real.  

The proposed plan allows for higher-density housing mixed with institutional and retail uses.  Public open spaces allow for public congregation and more views into downtown from El Camino Real.

Design guidelines were given to encourage development that enhances the public realm while creating livable high-density housing.

(Top) Massing and land use model.
(Bottom) Design model as example only.
Caltrain Station Area

This site is directly adjacent to the new Caltrain Station. Following the practices of transit-oriented development, this site plan included high intensity office and retail uses.  Located between Silicon Valley and San Francisco, this site has high potential to enhance the economy of San Bruno.

Design guidelines were given to encourage developers to build lively spaces for both employees and residents, and a visually appealing gateway marker for San Bruno.

(Top) Massing and land use model.
(Bottom) Design model as example only.