Man looking at maps and images at Resilient By Design event, in San Francisco.
Zoe Siegel

Zoe Siegel

Action Alert: Climate Ambitious Planning for the Bay Area Is up to Us

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Associate of Bay Area Governments (MTC/ABAG) released the Final Blueprint Outcomes in December, an analysis of the 35 strategies in the Final Blueprint for the Plan Bay Area 2050 initiative. Plan Bay Area is an ongoing process that weaves together transportation, housing, economic, and environmental strategies, alongside an expanded set of growth geographies, to advance critical climate and equity goals.

While we applaud MTC/ABAG’s effort, we believe that as our region prepares for the next 30+ years of development, the implementation of the Final Blueprint must ensure that equity, climate adaptation, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, environmental preservation, and resilience are primary drivers for planning decisions. Plan Bay Area 2050 is an important framework through which our region can establish a strong vision for climate action and begin to plan for and advance achievable, meaningful climate actions for the benefit of current and all future generations.

That’s why we are calling on ALL Bay Area residents to send a strong and unified message, pushing for bold outcomes for regional planning in the next 30 years. Sign on to our letter today to support this effort and receive updates about this process.

The 5 recommendations made in our letter (attached or linked) are underpinned by the following three priorities:

  1. Establish a climate goal and vision for Bay Area conservation lands, which could complement state efforts to reach carbon neutrality and serve as a model for other regions. 
  2. Improve equity outcomes by centering equity in the development of environmental strategies and prioritizing the needs of vulnerable communities.
  3. Shift away from engineered solutions in all of the Environmental Strategies. We urge the prioritization of nature-based adaptation and resilience solutions wherever feasible, because they provide more durable solutions.

Get more details about our recommendations in the full letter we’re sending to MTC/ABAG here.

More Context

A coalition of environmental stakeholders led by Greenbelt Alliance, Save the Bay,Together Bay Area, and The Nature Conservancy have been working together to provide the support and technical assistance needed to make the environmental section of the Blueprint more robust and responsive to today’s challenges. Plan Bay Area is also asking for public comment via a survey, that you can participate in by clicking here.

The construction of this regional planning has been an ongoing multi-year process,, and has considerably evolved due to public participation.

Additional highlights include:

  • A more affordable Bay Area: strategies in the Final Blueprint would enable Bay Area residents, especially households with lower incomes, to spend less on housing and transportation compared to Plan Bay Area 2040. Additionally, the Bay Area would be able to produce and preserve more affordable housing.
  • A more accessible and reliable transportation network: strategies in the Final Blueprint would enable Bay Area transit riders to access their destinations more easily, while drivers would be able to count on more reliable travel times.
  • Continued progress toward a more inclusive Bay Area: inclusive development helps reduce the risk of displacement in transit-rich communities, while new strategies to provide mortgage and rental assistance help to open opportunities for home ownership for residents with lower incomes.
  • A healthier and safer Bay Area: investments in parks and open space, particularly in historically disinvested communities, will provide more opportunities for recreation, and through a suite of strategies in the Final Blueprint will increase resilience, reducing risks from hazards like wildfires and sea level rise..

Learn more about the Plan Bay Area process here and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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