Horizon | Plans + Projects | Our Work


When we plan for the future, what sort of future are we planning for?
Thursday, May 31, 2018

New technologies like driverless vehicles, rising sea levels, earthquakes, economic booms and busts, political volatility or other external forces may fundamentally alter the Bay Area’s future by the year 2050.

To explore the challenging questions that traditionally have been outside the regional planning process, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) have developed a new initiative, called Horizon, to explore the pressing issues and possible challenges Bay Area residents may face through 2050.

The Horizon initiative will be the first comprehensive Bay Area planning effort to look not just at transportation and housing but economic development, resilience and the effects of emerging technologies.

The Horizon initiative will consider questions like:

  • What might different levels of autonomous vehicle adoption mean for our pipeline of traditional transportation investments, and should we change course?
  • What strategies should we consider to better prepare our neighborhoods, business centers and other built infrastructure for increasingly frequent disasters?
  • How should the Bay Area respond if economic output, population and employment suddenly boom or bust?
  • What actions can the Bay Area take to improve our resilience to national and international geopolitical and economic shifts?

Horizon’s Guiding Principles

We received over 10,000 unique comments from residents across the Bay Area earlier this year when we asked, “What are the most pressing issues we should consider as we plan for life in 2050?” This feedback helped us refine five Guiding Principles that will guide the Horizon initiative:

Affordable: All Bay Area residents and workers have sufficient housing options they can afford—households are economically secure.

Connected: An expanded, well-functioning transportation system connects the Bay Area—fast, frequent and efficient intercity trips are complemented by a suite of local transportation options, connecting communities and creating a cohesive region.

Diverse: Bay Area residents support an inclusive region where people from all backgrounds, abilities and ages can remain in place—with access to the region’s assets and resources.

Healthy: The region’s natural resources, open space, clean water and clean air are conserved—the region actively reduces its environmental footprint and protects residents from environmental impacts.

Vibrant: The Bay Area is an innovation leader, creating quality job opportunities for all and ample fiscal resources for communities.

Help us plan for what’s on the Horizon!

The Horizon initiative will allow the public, planners and policymakers to wrestle with a range of challenging questions that traditionally have been outside the regional planning process through June 2019.

There will be many opportunities to be involved and provide your input. In the next few months, we’ll invite you to:

  • Submit your best and brightest ideas to reshape Bay Area transportation in June’s innovative Request for Transformative Projects
  • Come see us in person and attend a community event later this year
  • Follow the conversation throughout @MTCBATA or facebook.com/MTCBATA/

For more information on this effort, please contact the Horizon project manager, Dave Vautin, at dvautin@bayareametro.gov.


Plans + Projects

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