The GO TO 2040 plan strives to balance the need for local autonomy and regional cooperation. It provides principles that municipalities and counties can apply when they decide how and where development should happen or which infrastructure investments to make in their communities. To support more compact development and redevelopment, the plan targets investment in existing communities, but even development in new areas can and should support livability.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Our region draws strength from the diversity of its communities. While development should fit the local context, community choices about land use and housing should also emphasize principles that improve livability, such as:
- Support for transit, walking, and bicycling
- A range of housing options
- Environmental protection
- Access to green space
- Design, aesthetics, and local historic character
The implementation of these principles will vary across our region's unique communities, each of which will have its own approach to compact development. For example, methods of providing a range of housing options must be carefully tailored to meet a particular community's needs.
Local Planning as a High Priority
Achieving livability will take proactive planning by local governments that recognize the potential regional impacts of even seemingly small local decisions. The public sector cannot create a market for redevelopment where none exists, but it can invest in infrastructure and institute regulatory changes to make redevelopment more viable.
One of GO TO 2040's highest priorities is to promote comprehensive planning in communities across our seven counties—including the development of comprehensive plans, consistent ordinances and regulations, and trained decision makers. The plan recommends supporting local planning through grant programs, infrastructure investments to implement plans, technical assistance, and collaboration between municipalities on shared priorities.