Technical Assistance

MTC offers a variety of programs to provide planning and technical support for city and county agencies.

Peter Beeler

MTC and its regional partners offer a variety of programs to city and county agencies. These programs help reach local and regional goals of greenhouse gas reduction, equity, affordability and resilience.

Two types of technical assistance are available — direct assistance and capacity building:

  • Direct Assistance is temporary, targeted support to an agency that works toward specific goals and tasks, and helps to bridge gaps in the agency's staffing or technical expertise. Examples include the PDA Technical and Staffing Assistance programs.
  • Capacity Building training and tools work to strengthen institutional knowledge, helping agency leadership and staff reach their goals independently. Capacity building programs can help agencies launch new programs, strategies or policies that are aligned with regional goals. Examples include Planning Innovations workshops and BayREN.

Technical Assistance Programs by Category


  • Bay Area Spatial Information System (BASIS): Easy-to-use online tools with local land use, zoning and housing data that informs local planning efforts and the region's long-range land use and transportation plan.

Energy Programs

  • Bay Area Energy Atlas: This database of PG&E account-level electricity and natural gas consumption shows how energy is being used in jurisdictions, and can be filtered by geography, population density, income level or industry, thereby assisting local governments with climate action planning to reduce energy consumption.
  • Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN): Offers free technical assistance to single-family, multifamily, and commercial property owners, and builds local government capacity to increase energy efficiency in individual jurisdictions through training, free engineering technical assistance, and a range of related resources.
  • Clean Building Compass: An online clearinghouse of resources to assist cities in developing and adopting building decarbonization policies. The tools, case studies and templates were developed by BARC in partnership with the Building Decarbonization Coalition and the Air District.
  • Model Solar Ordinance Toolkit: Helps local governments in the transition to rooftop solar energy in their cities, with a set of customized information, data, templates and recommended language for establishing new regulations.

Housing and Land Use

  • Housing Technical Assistance Program: Assists local jurisdictions in adopting compliant Housing Elements, ensuring that Bay Area jurisdictions remain competitive for various state funding programs to increase housing opportunities. The program framework aims to advance the three P’s of housing: Production, Preservation and Protection.
  • Priority Development Area (PDA) Planning Technical and Staffing Assistance: Provides customized consultant assistance to complete planning efforts for specific policy or planning challenges to the adoption or implementation of PDA plans.


  • Adapting to Rising Tides (ART): Planning guidance, tools, data and a live support desk to help shoreline communities plan for sea level rise and other climate impacts by evaluating potential shoreline impacts, vulnerabilities, and risks; identifying effective adaptation strategies; and developing adaptation planning tools and resources.
  • Resilience Planning: Toolkits and best practices to help jurisdictions integrate resilience into local plans such as housing elements, safety elements and local hazard mitigation plans.
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP): A collaboration of local, state, and federal agencies, NGOs, academia and business leaders working to protect and restore the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.
  • Soft Story Retrofit Program Guidance and Model Ordinance: A set of guidelines to help cities do the work to inventory and draft their policies around soft-story housing, which is at risk of collapse in an earthquake.


  • Complete Streets: Provides tools for emerging street types, safety strategies and quick build materials.
  • Innovative Deployments to Enhance Arterials (IDEA): Assists public agencies with enhancements to mobility, sustainability and safety along major arterials by deploying mature, commercially available technologies or newer, higher-risk connected and automated vehicle technologies.
  • Pavement Management Technical Assistance Program (P-TAP): Helps cities and counties stretch their budgets by implementing, updating and maintaining pavement management databases, providing accurate pavement condition data and management of non-pavement street and road assets.
  • Program for Arterial System Synchronization (PASS): Delivers financial and technical assistance to cities and counties to enhance signal operations along major arterials.
  • Smart Parking: Helps cities manage parking supply and demand.
  • Streetsaver®: A web-based application that assists jurisdictions with data storage and that provides complex analysis of pavement and non-pavement maintenance needs, including budgets and performance targets.


  • Planning Innovations: Provides a series of regional forums that focus on the planning and implementation of Bay Area’s Priority Development Areas (PDA) and Priority Conservation Areas (PCA).
  • Technology Transfer Program: Provides technical presentations by topic experts, as well as presentations from local engineers on recent projects in the Bay Area.