Sacramento adopted its second Sustainable Communities Strategy in February 2016, and ClimatePlan is now monitoring its implementation.
The region's plan should help residents drive less:
“Bucking historic trends of increasing... driving, the MTP/SCS shows a 6% decline in per-capita VMT [vehicle miles traveled].”
— 2016 MTP/SCS Executive Summary
About the Region
The six-county Sacramento region is home to more than 2 million people, and is expected to grow to more than 3.3 million by 2035.
It’s estimated that Sacramento motorists spend 36 hours a year sitting in traffic. But if the Sustainable Communities Strategy is fully implemented, residents will have more choices: safer walking and biking, and efficient and convenient transit.
SB 375 greenhouse-gas emissions reduction targets:
– 7% per capita reduction for 2020
– 16% per capita reduction for 2035
For a full review of "leading practices," or best practices so far in Sustainable Communities Strategies from regions around the state, download our report Leading The Way. Here are a few from the Sacramento region:
1) One of the state's most thorough attempts to understand and address the needs of rural communities is SACOG’s Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS).
Building on extensive input from rural stakeholders, a wide range of land use data, and mapping tools, RUCS includes planning and economic analytical tools to see how infrastructure, land use, and market factors affect the ability of farmers to profitably get their goods to market.
The region's current MTP/SCS emphasizes transportation connections between urban and rural areas, open space protection, and other goals that support the economic viability of rural communities.
2) To adapt to the impacts of climate change, SACOG developed the Sacramento Region Transportation Climate Adaptation Plan (SRTCAP).
The plan examines the likely effects of four climate impacts—extreme heat, changes in precipitation, wildfire, and landslides—on different types of transportation infrastructure. For example, extreme heat poses a high risk to roads, railways, and bridges (because of heat's effects on asphalt, rail tracks and bridge joints) and a moderate risk to public transit (passenger discomfort, vehicle overheating, and network delays). To address these risks, the plan offers planning, design, and maintenance strategies for each type of infrastructure; these strategies are part of SACOG’s 2016 MTP/SCS.
The plan also notes that climate adaptation can “incorporate ecosystem resilience and protection of ecosystem services.” Nature, too, provides infrastructure we depend on for clean air, water, and more.
3) To address the needs of disadvantaged communities, SACOG has developed nuanced, regionally specific criteria to understand the impacts of different planning scenarios on under-served communities.
For its Environmental Justice Analysis, SACOG focused on identifying Low Income High Minority (LIHM) communities, using U.S. Census data on poverty and race as well as vulnerability criteria such as housing cost burden, prevalence of single parent households, educational attainment, and linguistic isolation. It then developed a variety of performance measures for how different land use scenarios would affect these communities. Measures included transit service hours; transit access to jobs, parks, and higher education; exposure to air pollution; and more.
While these measures were not customized for each community based on priorities identified by residents, they captured a wider range of impacts than the equity measures used by many regions.