Horizon | Plans + Projects | Our Work


When we plan for the future, what sort of future are we planning for?
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New technologies like autonomous vehicles, rising sea levels and climate change, earthquakes, economic booms and busts, political volatility or other external forces likely will fundamentally alter the Bay Area’s by the year 2050.

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

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

The Horizon initiative considered questions like:

  • How should different levels of autonomous vehicle adoption inform our traditional transportation investments?
  • 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 to sudden booms and busts of economic output, population and employment?
  • 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 the below five Guiding Principles that underlie 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.

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


Plans + Projects