Nearly six hours after the beginning of the public hearing last night in Oakland, the boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC) voted to adopt Plan Bay Area, an unprecedented regional strategy for creating sustainable communities throughout the Bay Area.
This plan is a blueprint for directing all growth in the Bay Area to occur within our existing urban footprint. With the region expected to grow by millions of people and jobs in the coming decades, yesterday’s landmark decision is a HUGE win for the future of the Bay Area.
One of the big (and pleasant) surprises from the night was the inclusion of an amendment that links funds from the One Bay Area Grant program to the production, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable homes. There were a handful of other positive amendments approved as well.
- 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 conservation grant program dedicates funds for protecting natural and agricultural lands
Greenbelt Alliance played a major role in making Plan Bay Area a reality.
We brought together a coalition of organizations with a broad range of interests, so that local advocates would have a unified voice.
We provided the MTC and ABAG staffs with data to inform the plan and worked closely with them to develop the plan’s conservation grants program.
We organized supporters and residents to attend public meetings throughout the process and spread the word about Plan Bay Area through our networks and the media.
Although the plan has been adopted, our work isn’t done. We need to ensure that our cities and counties follow through on the plan’s vision of creating sustainable and equitable communities throughout the region.
Overall, Plan Bay Area is a giant leap in the right direction and we are excited for what it means for the future of the Bay Area.
photo: Max via Flickr