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About the Sustainable Communities Strategy

The San Diego region adopted its first Sustainable Communities Strategy, the first in the state of California, in October 2011. The plan was applauded by many as a great step in the right direction as it did roll back sprawl-inducing highway expansions and redirect those funds to accelerate public transit and bicycle projects. But the plan also had many critics who argued it does not go far enough. After the plan was adopted, a lawsuit was filed by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity (later joined by the Sierra Club). The suit was also joined by the state’s Attorney General’s office, and has yet to be settled.

Read about ClimatePlan’s take on the first SCS in the state on our blog our blog and in this report issued by ClimatePlan and our partner TransForm. You can also read more about the lawsuit here.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has begun the initial planning for its next Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy, which are part of a broader process called San Diego Forward. Learn more about the new plan and opportunities to engage on SANDAG’s website.

 

Regional Resources

San Diego and SB 375:  Lessons from California’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy
By Eliot Rose, Autumn Bernstein and Stuart Cohen.

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. A new report (pdf) 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 are the opportunities for improvement.
Learn more

San Diego 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy
By the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) — Adopted October 28, 2011
Link to RTP/SCS downloads page

Comment Letter on San Diego RTP/SCS from NRDC, Move San Diego, TransForm, and Endangered Habitats League
October 24, 2011
Download the comment letter

What They’re Saying

“As a San Diego planner and developer with over 15 years in the industry, I support the goals of SB 375 to connect transportation and land use policies to meet the needs of a growing region. Our industry is committed to developing communities that are healthy, that hold their value, and improve the quality of life in the San Diego region. SB 375 provides the framework and incentives to support building sustainable communities.” Stephen M. Haase, Vice President – Forward Planning, Baldwin and Sons”

Comment Letter to California Air Resources Board re: review of San Diego SCS
Sign-on letter circulated by ClimatePlan – September 21, 2011
Download the comment letter

Comment Letter on San Diego RTP/SCS from California Attorney General
September 16, 2011
Download the comment letter

San Diego’s Green Dividend
By Joe Cortwright, for Move San Diego – September 2009

Despite the common belief that improving the environment is at odds with growing the local economy, San Diego stands to gain a $1.35 billion annual green dividend by reducing vehicle travel.
Link to report

Smart Growth Simulations for the San Diego Area
By SANDAG
Link to webpage

Click here for ClimatePlan’s complete Resource Library

 

Regional Overview

• The San Diego region includes 18 cities and an unincorporated area, with total population of just over 3 million residents. By 2050, however, the population is projected to be over 4 million.
• According to the 2000 census, when asked how they arrived to/from work, nearly 74 percent of San Diegans said that they drove alone. An effective Sustainable Communities Strategy will improve transportation systems and encourage well-planned communities that take advantage of existing infrastructure and transit corridors.
• San Diego is the first region in the state to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy in its Regional Transportation Plan.

Quick Fact

According to the San Diego Association of Governments, to achieve its 2020 goal of a 7% reduction in GHGs, a resident could do one of the following:
• Telecommute to work one day a month
• Carpool two days a month
• Bike or walk instead of driving 10 miles a week
• Take the bus instead of driving 12 miles a week

When will the first Sustainable Communities Strategy be adopted? What are some other key milestones?
• The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) adopted its Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy, the first in the state, on October 28, 2011.  Read an analysis on our blog.

What are the SB 375 GHG reduction targets?
• 2020: 7% reduction from 2005 level
• 2035:13% reduction from 2005 level

To get involved and learn more, see the websites of partner groups below. Contact ClimatePlan for help getting connected.

 

Partners in the Region

Endangered Habitats League
Move San Diego
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sustainable San Diego
TransForm
Walk San Diego

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