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Zoe Siegel

Plan Bay Area 2050: Blueprint Phase

The Blueprint is the first step toward developing Plan Bay Area 2050.

For those not following along as closely this time around, MTC/ABAG launched Plan Bay Area 2050 this past fall. The updated Plan will focus on the same core topic areas as previous iterations with a larger emphasis on equity and resilience. Plan Bay Area 2050 is the Bay Area’s nine-county long-range plan that integrates transportation, housing, the economy, and the environment. Plan Bay Area 2050 will dig deeper into the issues that face the Bay Area now and over the next 30 years. 

The Plan Bay Area 2050 Blueprint will integrate strategies for all four elements of the Plan—the economy, the environment, housing, and transportation—to create a more resilient and equitable future for the region. Creating the Blueprint is a key first step toward creating the Plan itself, and thus the Blueprint planning phase will require iteration and deep engagement with the public, stakeholders and elected officials. The Blueprint will be finalized by mid-2020. Starting this summer through summer 2021, the Plan Bay Area 2050 document will be developed and finalized. A shorter-term Implementation Plan, along with an associated Environmental Impact Report, will be produced prior to finalizing Plan Bay Area 2050.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission/The Association of Bay Area Governments (MTC/ABAG) staff have hosted a series of workshops focusing on each element of Plan Bay Area 2050. At the December Plan Bay Area housing workshop, elected officials, local residents, and city/county staff from around the region gathered together to examine which growth geographies Plan Bay Area 2050 should include with a large focus on Priority Development Areas (PDAs), Priority Conservation Areas (PCAs), and Priority Production Areas (PPAs). Do we want to expand PDAs to transit-rich, high resource, or other urbanized areas? Presently, there are 188 PDAs that have been adopted throughout the region, yet there are many other areas that support regional goals, like transit oriented development, that are outside of a PDA. MTC/ABAG wants to make sure that equity is at the center of regional development and that development is focused in areas leveraging regional transit investments and affordability.

Big Question: Should the Plan Bay Area 2050 Blueprint focus some of the Bay Area’s growth outside of locally-nominated places to improve potential greenhouse gas emissions and equity outcomes?

Key Questions

Key Questions that will be considered for each element of the Blueprint include:

  • Transportation: How to align available transportation revenues with priority investments? What are the top priorities for transportation investments? What other supportive transportation strategies are needed?
  • Housing: Where should we prioritize housing growth? What strategies are required to support housing growth?
  • Economy: Where should we prioritize job growth? What strategies are required to support job growth?
  • Environment: What areas should we protect from development? What climate strategies are required to meet the Bay Area’s greenhouse gas target? What strategies are required to mitigate impacts from sea level rise & earthquakes?

New Topics Emphasized 

  • Equity: Plan Bay Area 2040 performed much better on environmental goals than equity goals. Plan Bay Area 2050 proposes to prioritize equity significantly more.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Pan Bay Area 2050 has an ambitious 19% per capita greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
  • New Revenue: Plan Bay Area 2050 is studying new revenue sources that could fund transportation, housing, economic and/or environmental strategies. 


  1. Late 2019/Early 2020: Develop strategies and investments to advance into analysis of the Draft Blueprint, integrating feedback from the public and from stakeholders.
  2. Spring 2020: Analyze the Draft Blueprint and hold workshops with the public to seek feedback on the strategies and their potential outcomes for the region.
  3. Late Spring 2020: Make refinements to the strategies included in the Blueprint based on feedback and analyze the Final Blueprint.
  4. Summer 2020: Seek adoption from the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board of the Final Blueprint as the Preferred Alternative for environmental analysis purposes.

How can you get involved?

Sign-up below to stay updated on the Plan Bay Area 2050 process. By giving us your contact information, we’ll keep you in the loop on upcoming meetings and any new information that emerges from this process. The Bay Area is your home, and this is a great way to be involved in how your region grows! 

Want to learn more?

Read the MTC/ABAG perspective paper on regional growth strategies and feel to contact us with any questions you may have.

Photo: Daniel McCullough via Unplash

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