At just past midnight 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.
Some highlights from the plan:
- 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 first-of-its-kind conservation grant program dedicates funds for protecting natural and agricultural lands