Tuesday, December 6, 2011


On October 28th 2011, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved the first sustainable communities strategy (SCS) under Senate Bill 375, California’s groundbreaking regional planning law. The plan was the subject of intense scrutiny by stakeholders, state agencies and others.

This new report, co-authored by Eliot Rose, Autumn Bernstein of ClimatePlan, and Stuart Cohen of TransFORM, takes a comprehensive look at the plan and analyzes why it didn’t achieve the GHG reductions that many hoped it would. The report also provides information on the important ways in which the plan represents a departure from business as usual, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

As other regions across the state are poised to also adopt their own SCSs, this report picks out some of the best practices and most important lessons learned to help Metropolitan Planning Organizations and other stakeholders outside of the San Diego region learn from SANDAG’s experience.

Reversing a decades-long trend of planning for sprawl is going to take a serious commitment to continually refining the SCS process. SANDAG’s SCS sets some important precedents, but it’s only the first step in a long journey.

Download the report (pdf) here

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