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The Need for the Blueprint

The Sacramento Region is a wonderful place to live. It has comfortable and inviting neighborhoods. A robust economy. Exciting nightlife. A variety of beautiful scenery and wild places.

These qualities also mean the region will grow. Between 2000 and 2050, our region will add more than 1.7 million people and 1 million new jobs.

But with growth comes challenges. How should we grow? Where should we grow? How should we travel around the region? How will growth affect our environment and quality of life?

In 2002, the Sacramento region faced a prospective future of worsening congestion - a projected increase of over 50 percent by the year 2025 - and increasingly worse air pollution based on current land-use patterns, transportation funding levels, and transportation investment priorities. To attempt to solve these challenges, the SACOG Board of Directors initiated the Sacramento Region Blueprint Project, an extensive study of the linkages between transportation land use and air quality.

The philosophy behind the regional visioning process was that planning and design choices made by a community have many impacts on regional development patterns, modal choices, infrastructure costs, redevelopment potential, natural resources, and other aspects of livability. By being aware of the consequences of their community's development choices, citizens can improve their economies, environments, and quality of life. If communities work together at this process, then these positive affects can be seen regionally.

As its core goal, the Blueprint Project aimed to support local governments with high quality data and modeling tools so that decisions regarding future growth and its affects on quality of life issues such as traffic congestion and air pollution could be made with the best information available. In addition to developing detailed land-use and travel data, an extensive community outreach effort was conducted to develop and assess guiding principles for the region's long-term growth.

The learnings from the regional visioning process would also be used by the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), the region's transportation planning and funding agency, to make choices about what transportation projects will best serve the region as it changes.

Through its public outreach and education component, a wealth of technical data for local decision makers, and funding for "smart growth" development, the Blueprint provides a tangible opportunity to help make Sacramento as attractive tomorrow as it is today.