Plan Bay Area

Plan Bay Area is an unprecedented regional strategy for creating sustainable communities throughout the region. Greenbelt Alliance was the leading advocate for Plan Bay Area from day one, spearheading support for its adoption in 2013.

The final plan is a blueprint for directing all growth in the Bay Area to occur within our existing urban footprint, instead of sprawling onto our natural and agricultural lands. Here are some highlights from the plan:

  • No sprawl for 30 years—100% of new growth will be within existing urban boundaries
  • Nearly 80% of new homes and over 60% of new jobs will be near public transit
  • The One Bay Area Grant program distributes funds for transportation and affordable homes to the places that are doing the most sustainable and equitable development
  • The Priority Conservation Area Grant Program dedicates funds for protecting natural and agricultural lands

Plan Bay Area is updated every four years, starting in 2017.

As the leading organization on how the Bay Area grows, we are working to keep Plan Bay Area on track through the update process.

As the update heads toward adoption in 2017, there will be public comment sessions, rounds of draft releases, and many more opportunities for Plan Bay Area to change. We’ll keep it heading in the right direction.


  • Make sure the update of Plan Bay Area keeps the best elements from the original plan
  • Push for the updated plan to dedicate even more funding to conservation and sustainable, equitable development
  • Work for the plan to thoughtfully address the threat of sea level rise and how it will affect land-use issues along our shorelines


Greenbelt Alliance’s Fixing the Foundation report on barriers to growing smart in specific cities and towns.
Greenbelt Alliance’s Grow Smart Bay Area report on accommodating regional growth
Plan Bay Area website

Map of Plan Bay Area Priority Development Areas



TransForm, Urban Habitat, Public Advocates, The Nature Conservancy, Bay Area SB375 Partners Network

Staff Contact: Matt Vander Sluis

Photo: Clint Sharp via Flickr

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