The Blueprint

Plan Bay Area 2050 Blueprint

Creating the Blueprint is the first step toward developing Plan Bay Area 2050. Watch the video to learn more about the Blueprint.


Aerial view of urban buildings, including the Transamerica Pyramid, in San Francisco.
Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

What is the Blueprint?

The Draft Blueprint ("the Blueprint") is the "first draft" of Plan Bay Area 2050, integrating 25 resilient and equitable strategies from the predecessor Horizon initiative. The Blueprint is a critical step in the Plan Bay Area 2050 process as the region strives to advance towards the adopted Vision of a more affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant Bay Area for all.

From Horizon to the Blueprint to the Plan

Before now, the Horizon Initiative tested strategies against a wide range of external forces, exploring which policies and investments were best prepared for an uncertain future – from rising telecommute levels to economic boom & bust cycles to consumer preference shifts. Creating the Blueprint is a key first step toward creating the Plan itself, and thus the Blueprint planning phase will require iteration and deep engagement of the public, stakeholders and elected officials.

The Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint weaves together transportation, housing, economic and environmental strategies, alongside an expanded set of growth geographies, to advance critical climate and equity goals. Designed to accommodate the 1.5 million new homes necessary to house future growth and address overcrowding, as well as 1.4 million new jobs, the Draft Blueprint integrates critical strategies to address our severe and longstanding housing crisis. With infrastructure investments in walking, biking and public transportation – as well as critical sea level protections designed to keep most Bay Area communities from flooding through 2050 – the Draft Blueprint makes meaningful steps towards the adopted Plan Bay Area 2050 Vision.

While still remaining fiscally constrained per federal planning requirements, the Draft Blueprint includes available revenues from Needs and Revenue assessments as well as new regional revenues for transportation, housing, economic development and environmental resilience.

Highlights of the Draft Blueprint include:

  • Improving Affordability for All: The Draft Blueprint reduces the cost burden for housing and transportation, with even greater reductions for low-income residents.
  • Expanding Housing Opportunities: The Draft Blueprint integrates investments to build more than 400,000 new permanently-affordable homes.
  • Focusing Growth in Walkable Places: The Draft Blueprint focuses the majority of new homes and new jobs in walkable communities with frequent transit services.
  • Saving Lives and Protecting Communities: In addition to saving more than 1,500 lives from roadway crashes through 2050, the Draft Blueprint also protects 98 percent of housing units at risk of sea level rise inundation through the year 2050 with new resilient infrastructure.
  • Positioning the Region for Robust Economic Growth: Despite over $200 billion in new taxes in the decades ahead to pay for the bold strategies approved in February 2020, Bay Area businesses are forecasted to rebound robustly.


The Draft Blueprint makes progress toward advancing the bold vision of Plan Bay Area 2050, though challenges remain. We need public input to prepare for an uncertain future and better address the following questions as we consider how to make the Blueprint even more resilient and equitable. Five key challenges, organized by the five Guiding Principles of Plan Bay Area 2050, are highlighted below:

  • Challenge #1: Affordable Guiding Principle. While the Draft Blueprint funds a considerable amount of deed-restricted affordable housing, hundreds of thousands of existing low-income residents would still lack a permanently affordable place to live. What strategies could we modify or advance to further increase production of homes affordable to lower-income residents, most importantly in High-Resource Areas with well-resourced schools and convenient access to jobs?
  • Challenge #2: Connected Guiding Principle. While the Draft Blueprint makes significant headway in improving access for drivers and transit riders compared to existing trends, traffic congestion and transit overcrowding remain significant challenges across the region. How can new or expanded strategies better address these key transportation issues?
  • Challenge #3: Diverse Guiding Principle. While the Draft Blueprint focuses a sizable share of affordable housing in historically-exclusionary places in the Bay Area, displacement risk continues to rise, especially in Communities of Concern. How can new or expanded strategies reduce this risk of displacement so more residents can remain in place?
  • Challenge #4: Healthy Guiding Principle. While the Draft Blueprint includes robust protections for agricultural lands and communities vulnerable to sea level rise, the biggest challenge remaining relates to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Given the magnitude of the gap between Draft Blueprint performance and the state-mandated target, what strategies could we modify or expand to close this GHG gap in an equitable and sustainable manner?
  • Challenge #5: Vibrant Guiding Principle. While Bay Area businesses thrive in the Draft Blueprint, job growth remains relatively concentrated in traditional job centers such as Silicon Valley. Potentially impactful strategies such as office development caps were not included in the Draft Blueprint following discussion at the Commission/Board workshop in January 2020, and more modest strategies such as impact fees led to positive yet limited effects in shifting jobs to housing-rich communities, such as parts of Alameda County. What additional strategies could be considered to shift jobs closer to the region’s existing workforce?


  • How do align available transportation revenues with priority investments?
  • What are our top priorities for transportation investments?
  • What other supportive transportation strategies are needed?


  • Where should we prioritize housing growth?
  • What strategies are required to support housing growth?


  • Where should we prioritize job growth?
  • What strategies are required to support job growth?


  • Where should we protect from development?
  • What climate strategies are required to meet the Bay Area’s greenhouse gas target?
  • What strategies are required to mitigate impacts from sea level rise & earthquakes?

Late 2019 - Mid-2020

Develop strategies and investments to advance into analysis of the Draft Blueprint, integrating feedback from the public and from stakeholders.

Spring/Summer 2020

Analyze the Draft Blueprint and hold workshops with the public to seek feedback on the strategies and their potential outcomes for the region.

Fall 2020

Make refinements to the strategies included in the Blueprint based on feedback and conduct analysis on the Final Blueprint.

Late 2020

Seek adoption from the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board of the Final Blueprint as the Preferred Alternative for environmental analysis purposes.