2025 Blueprint Pathway Land Use Evaluation


To better understand how the land use and transportation decisions we make today will affect the future and to help identify strategies that can remain durable across a range of futures despite changing and disruptive uncertainties, SACOG is undertaking a scenario planning effort, referred to as Pathways, as part of the process for the Blueprint. Pathways will provide the analysis and metrics that will serve as a learning tool for unpacking the many complex and intersecting issues facing the region over the next three decades around housing and land use, transportation management, regional growth, environmental resources, economic development, systemic racial disparities, and climate change and resilience. For more information on the framing for these pathways, click here.  

For each MTP/SCS (Blueprint) update, SACOG prepares a forecast of regional growth in population, employment, and households, and a spatial distribution of growth. The land use component of each MTP/SCS update is a set of assumptions around the amount, location, and nature of growth for the next two-plus decades. The land use and transportation assumptions work together in tandem to maximize benefits and minimize negative impacts across a set of equity, environmental, and economic goals. While many factors are considered, there is not a single mathematical formula or computer program used to create the land use forecast. The analytical process is iterative. Staff evaluate regulatory, market, and policy factors to narrow in on an ambitious but achievable picture of how the region’s land use pattern could evolve.   

SACOG staff have been working through the 2022 calendar year to develop the land use assumptions for each of these three pathways, including multiple rounds of review from local agency staff. 

2025 Blueprint Pathways by Community Type

For a map of the different community types across the region, click here.

Community Types

SACOG has created a framework for describing the 2025 Blueprint that is made up of Community Types. Local land use plans such as general plans, specific plans, master plans, corridor plans, and more were categorized into one of six Community Types based on the location of the plans. SACOG uses the Community Types framework to describe the 2025 Blueprint land use pattern.   

Center & Corridor Communities 

Land uses in Center and Corridor Communities are typically higher density and more mixed than surrounding land uses. Centers and Corridors are identified in local plans as historic downtowns, main streets, suburban or urban commercial corridors, rail station areas, central business districts, or town centers. They typically have more compact development patterns, a greater mix of uses, and a wider variety of transportation infrastructure compared to the communities surrounding them. 

Some have frequent transit service, either bus or rail, and all have pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure that is more supportive of walking and bicycling than other Community Types.  

Established Communities

Established Communities are typically the areas adjacent to, or surrounding, Center and Corridor Communities. Many are characterized as “first tier,” “inner ring,” or mature suburban communities. Local land use plans aim to maintain the existing character and land use pattern in these areas. Land uses in Established Communities are typically made up of existing low- to medium-density residential neighborhoods, office and industrial parks, or commercial strip centers. Depending on the density of existing land uses, some Established Communities have bus service; others may have commuter bus service or very little service. The majority of the region’s roads are in Established Communities in 2020. 

Developing Communities & Potential Developing Communities

Developing Communities are typically, though not always, situated on vacant land at the edge of existing urban or suburban development; they are the next increment of urban expansion. Developing Communities are identified in local plans as special plan areas, specific plans, or master plans and may be residential-only, employment-only, or a mix of residential and employment uses. Plans on the edge of the existing urban footprint are reclassified from developing communities to established communities if at least 50% of the planned units in the plan have been built by 2020. SACOG has further delineated developing communities into developing communities under construction and potential developing communities not yet under construction to distinguish between plans that have already started building housing units.  

Transportation options in Developing Communities often depend, to a great extent, on the timing of development. Bus service, for example, may be infrequent or unavailable today, but may be available every 30 minutes or less once a community builds out. Walking and bicycling environments vary widely though many Developing Communities are designed with dedicated pedestrian and bicycle trails. 

Rural Residential Communities  

Rural Residential Communities are typically located outside of urbanized areas and designated in local land use plans for rural residential development. Rural Residential Communities are predominantly residential with some small-scale hobby or commercial farming. Travel occurs almost exclusively by automobile and transit service is minimal or nonexistent. 

Agricultural and Natural Lands  

Today, these areas are dominated by commercial agriculture, forestry, resource conservation, mining, flood protection, or a combination of these uses. Some have long-term plans and policies to preserve or maintain the existing “non-urban” uses.