Bay Area Smart Growth Scorecard

The Smart Growth Scorecard is a landmark assessment of the planning policies of all 101 cities and nine counties of the Bay Area.

The San Francisco Bay Area will grow by a million more residents by 2020, and these policies provide the blueprints of how that growth will occur. As demonstrated in Plan Bay Area, it is possible to accommodate that population increase within existing city limits, but we have to start getting ready for it now.

The Scorecard found that the region could be doing much more to prepare for this growth. Cities were scored in seven policy areas, while counties were scored in five. On average, cities score 34%. They have only one-third of the needed policies to achieve smart growth. Counties are doing somewhat better than cities. On average, they score 51%, meaning they are doing half of what they could do to promote smart growth.

These scores are low, but that can change. For every policy area, there is an outstanding city or county that can guide other jurisdictions as they seek to improve. Additionally, our report Fixing the Foundation offers specific solutions that can help cities and towns overcome the most common barriers to this important growth.

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