California communities are facing crises on many fronts, including climate change, financially strapped governments, congestion, unaffordable housing, and job loss. The General Plan is the single best tool to help communities tackle these issues in the comprehensive, “big picture” way that generates sustainable positive change. Too often, however, the General Plan is enormously costly, complex and ineffective.
Still, many communities are doing great things with their General Plans, demonstrating that the General Plan can provide a vibrant, proactive vision to guide communities as they assess and respond to challenges and opportunities.
Our goal is to Reinvent the General Plan, revitalizing it as an essential tool to help California communities tackle the tough issues of the twenty-first century. This is an ambitious task, and it begins by identifying what is already working for some communities. This website is meant to serve as an “Incubator” that highlights successful and innovative General Plan efforts across California that are transferrable to other communities. The plans and tools included on this website go beyond the basic requirements of General Plans to attain new visions, strategies, and ways of communicating and build our understanding of how powerful a transformed General Plan can be.
Ultimately, we envision inventing a General Plan process that is less burdensome and more beneficial for communities, that meets the myriad challenges and changing legal environment for planning in California, and that achieves its most fundamental mission of describing and implementing communities' visions for their future.