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Matt Vander Sluis

Plan Bay Area 2040 Adopted

Late last night, the boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC) voted to adopt Plan Bay Area 2040, a smart regional strategy to foster thriving neighborhoods across our nine-county region.

We’re excited that the new plan affirms the groundbreaking vision of the original Plan Bay Area, adopted in 2013—guiding growth within our existing cities and towns to creating walkable communities for all close to jobs and transit and safeguarding our iconic natural and agricultural lands.

The plan also includes a rousing “call to action” about the housing affordability and displacement crisis, noting that the lack of homes that people can afford near job centers is squeezing far too many Bay Area residents and increasing sprawl development pressure at the edges of the region.

Some highlights from the plan:

  • No sprawl for 25 years—100% of new growth within existing urban growth boundaries.
  • Nearly 80% of new homes and more than half of all new jobs near transit.
  • An “Action Plan” chapter with local and regional solutions for our housing affordability, economic development, and climate resilience challenges.

Greenbelt Alliance played a major role in shaping Plan Bay Area 2040. We brought together a diverse network of non-profit organizations to speak with a common voice about our shared priorities. We prepared powerful data, including detailed analyses that showed how MTC and ABAG’s growth alternatives would affect our drinking water, wildlife, and farmlands. We organized residents to attend public meetings and spread the word through our networks and the media.

At a time of such intense national division, it’s inspiring to see the Bay Area come together around a shared vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and economically prosperous region for everyone.

Thank you to all those who joined us on this journey over the last four years. Now that Plan Bay Area 2040 has been adopted, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work to bring the plan’s smart growth goals to fruition.

In particular, there’s much to be done to carry out the important regional strategies outlined in the Action Plan and to help our cities and towns follow through on the plan’s vision for the right development in the right places.

We’re already hard at work on both those fronts. For example, we’re serving on a new regional task force, called CASA, to find sustainable strategies for housing affordability. And we’re working on the ground in places like Sunnyvale, Antioch, and Solano County.

Thank you for your support in helping this win, and for making our work, possible. Together, we will show the nation how a bold vision for a better future can become reality—but it won’t be easy. It requires dedicated effort in every city and town across the region. Help us make the Bay Area more affordable and sustainable by standing up for good development inside of our cities and towns.

Lend your support for these Greenbelt Alliance endorsed developments. Tell local politicians that you support smart growth. 

Photo: Bastian Hoppe via Flickr

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