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SANDAG's Regional Plan to Boost Local Climate, Housing, Transportation Safety Efforts

April 30, 2021 -- Regional Plan Proposes More Data, Grants, and Resources to Help Cities Improve Quality of Life
Today the SANDAG Board of Directors discussed how the upcoming 2021 Regional Plan goes beyond transportation to help local cities address climate change, housing, safety, and more. The Regional Plan, which acts as the blueprint for land use and transportation planning in the San Diego region through 2050, will enhance quality of life by creating a comprehensive transportation system that is faster, fairer, and cleaner than ever before.

“SANDAG's 2021 Regional Plan will support the region by aligning planning at all levels to support the environment, housing, mobility, and equity,” said SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “Together, we can move into a prosperous and sustainable future that benefits everyone.'

The SANDAG Board heard from a panel of experts, including:
• Scott Anders, Director of Energy Policy Initiatives Center, University of San Diego School of Law
• Kate Gordon, Director of Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
• Mike Hansen, Planning Director of City of San Diego
• Rami Talleh, Deputy Director of Planning and Development Services of the County of San Diego
• Mark Merrifield, Ph.D., Director of Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego

The draft 2021 Regional Plan will propose more than $8 billion in programs to assist local jurisdictions, tribal nations, residents, and businesses with a wide variety of initiatives, including:

Climate Change and the Environment
SANDAG has supported the creation of 17 climate action plans regionwide, more than any other region in the state, by sharing data and ensuring consistent methodologies. Additionally, more than 8,700 acres of habitat have been preserved through SANDAG‘s Environmental Mitigation Program.

The upcoming 2021 Regional Plan will propose more funding for electric vehicle charging and a regional incentive program for electric vehicles. These regional programs will support local government efforts to streamline permits for charger installations, shift their fleets to zero emission vehicles, and install stations in their communities.

The 2021 Regional Plan includes a land use pattern that focuses on housing and job growth. The creation of Mobility Hubs will bring people, transportation, homes, and jobs closer together, helping to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals by decreasing the distance people need to drive. Many cities are updating their growth plans to allow for more housing, and the Regional Plan will include programs that will bring more resources for smart growth and affordable housing.

SANDAG’s grant programs are already helping to reimagine how local communities grow. Through more than 150 smart growth and active transportation projects, SANDAG provides funding to local jurisdictions for infrastructure and planning, as well as support for infill development and affordable housing.

SANDAG is a regional resource, gathering crash data and analyzing impacts on different communities. For example, the draft Regional Plan will propose Vision Zero programs to offer grants and technical assistance for local jurisdictions to move closer to eliminating deaths and severe injuries on our region’s roadways. Cities and the County can use these resources to implement projects and designs that make streets safer.

This is the sixth presentation to the Board on the Regional Plan since last summer. Recordings of previous presentations, which covered a variety of topics including an overview of modeling and data, financing strategies, emerging technology, and social equity, are available at
Updated every four years, the 2021 Regional Plan aims to develop a transportation system that works for all San Diego County residents. In the coming months, the SANDAG Board of Directors will discuss the development of the plan further with future presentations focused social equity and alignment with state, regional, and local planning. A draft of the plan will be presented in the spring, with a vote by the Board expected this fall.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or