Plan Bay Area 2050 Vision

Before work began on Plan Bay Area 2050, it was important to first solidify the overall project’s vision, goals and cross-cutting issues on which to focus. The Vision and Guiding Principles for Plan Bay Area 2050 built upon a months-long effort during the Horizon initiative to engage with Bay Area residents, ABAG and MTC board members, and working groups to determine what are the most pressing issues that MTC and ABAG should consider as they planned for life in 2050. Similarly, the Cross-Cutting Issues built upon one of the key findings of Horizon: the need to prioritize strategies that are both resilient and equitable.

In September 2019, the ABAG Executive Board and MTC both adopted the Vision, Guiding Principles and Cross-Cutting Issues for Plan Bay Area 2050 via ABAG Resolution No. 09-19 and MTC Resolution No. 4393. By adopting the Vision, Guiding Principles and Cross-Cutting Issues for use in Plan Bay Area 2050, MTC and ABAG members affirmed their commitment to the priorities outlined by members of the public and refined by agency partners, while also connecting Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050 with a shared vision.

What is the Vision for Plan Bay Area 2050?

To ensure by the year 2050 that the Bay Area is affordable, connected, diverse, healthy, and vibrant for all.

What are the Guiding Principles for Plan Bay Area 2050?

Throughout 2018 and 2019, Horizon centered on these same five Guiding Principles, which were developed in conjunction with members of the public, partners and elected officials between February and June 2018 through a wide range of public engagement. Given the principles’ effectiveness throughout the Horizon process, staff proposed to continue their use for Plan Bay Area 2050.

  • Affordable: All Bay Area residents and workers have sufficient housing options they can afford – households are economically secure.
  • Connected: An expanded, well-functioning, safe and multimodal transportation system connects the Bay Area – fast, frequent and efficient intercity trips are complemented by a suite of local transportation options, connecting communities and creating a cohesive region.
  • Diverse: The Bay Area is an inclusive region where people from all backgrounds, abilities and ages can remain in place – with full access to the region’s assets and resources.
  • Healthy: The region’s natural resources, open space, clean water and clean air are conserved – the region actively reduces its environmental footprint and protects residents from environmental impacts.
  • Vibrant: The Bay Area is an innovation leader, creating quality job opportunities for all and ample fiscal resources for communities.

What are the Cross-Cutting Issues for Plan Bay Area 2050?

Plan Bay Area 2050 tackles four topic areas – housing, the economy, transportation and the environment – while integrating the cross-cutting issues of Equity and Resilience. Notably, strategies to address equity in earlier versions of Plan Bay Area have fallen short of key equity goals, such as addressing regional affordability. Similarly, the package of strategies from Plan Bay Area 2040 (adopted by MTC and ABAG in 2017) struggled to be resilient when analyzed against a suite of technological, economic, political and environmental uncertainties in the Horizon planning process. Bolder strategies now included in the plan aim to make headway where previous plans have fallen short.