Tuesday, December 6, 2011

new report examines California's first Sustainable Communities Strategy

                                                               December 5, 2011

San Diego and SB 375:  Lessons from California's first Sustainable Communities Strategy

By Eliot Rose, Autumn Bernstein and Stuart Cohen


The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) recently 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, as reported in our blog post in October. 


And now, a more comprehensive report, co-authored by Eliot Rose, Autumn Bernstein, and Stuart Cohen, takes a closer 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 are the 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 important lessons 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.



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