MTC and ABAG Approve Plan Bay Area 2050+ Draft Blueprint Strategies and Growth Geographies

The Joint MTC Planning Committee with the ABAG Administrative Committee on Jan. 12 approved the revised Plan Bay Area 2050+ Draft Blueprint strategies and Growth Geographies. This action enables staff to further study the strategies’ performance in meeting critical regional goals for an affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant Bay Area for all. Staff are aiming for adoption of the Plan Bay Area 2050+ Final Blueprint in summer 2024.

Given Plan Bay Area 2050’s solid foundation of 35 strategies, the Draft Blueprint phase for Plan Bay Area 2050+ is focusing on making targeted refinements to select plan strategies. These refinements reflect Plan Bay Area 2050’s implementation progress, the post-pandemic planning context and insights gathered during engagement with the public and partners in summer 2023.

Staff previously shared proposed Draft Blueprint strategy refinements in October and November 2023, detailing which of Plan Bay Area 2050’s 35 strategies were likely to see major, minor or no changes in Plan Bay Area 2050+. This month, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) committees approved moving forward with revisions for further study and analysis, including:

  • Non-transit transportation strategy refinements focused on prioritizing equity considerations, adapting to tighter fiscal constraints, promoting active transportation and safety, and expanding pricing strategies;
  • Environment strategy refinements focused on further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and proactively adapting to climate change; and
  • Housing and economy strategy refinements focused on addressing pressing challenges of housing affordability, homelessness and access to opportunity.

At this time the Draft Blueprint only includes a handful of modified transportation strategies, pending the development of a fiscally constrained Transportation Project List, which will integrate recommendations from the ongoing parallel Transit 2050+ effort. The complete suite of revised transportation strategies will be integrated as part of the Final Blueprint in summer 2024.

The Joint ABAG and MTC Committee also approved targeted updates to the Growth Geographies that were adopted as part of Plan Bay Area 2050. Growth Geographies are places that Plan Bay Area prioritizes for future homes, jobs, services and amenities and serve as a component of the plan’s housing and economy elements. Specifically, draft Growth Geographies for Plan Bay Area 2050+ will include five new Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and 16 modified existing PDAs nominated by local Bay Area jurisdictions; reflect up-to-date information on transit service, natural hazards and demographics; and integrate areas subject to MTC’s revised Transit Oriented Communities Policy.

The Draft Blueprint approval comes six months after MTC and ABAG kicked off the limited and focused update to Plan Bay Area 2050. In November 2023, staff shared progress-to-date with policymakers, including findings from the first round of engagement, core planning assumptions, the draft Regional Growth Forecast, a financial needs and revenue analyses and proposed strategy refinements.

The next round of public and partner organization engagement activities, which will inform the development of the Plan Bay Area 2050+ Final Blueprint, is planned to begin in spring 2024. MTC and the ABAG Executive Board are expected to approve Final Blueprint strategies in summer 2024.