Rural-Urban Connections Strategy

Overview Renée DeVere-Oki

Coordinated Rural Opportunities Plan (CROP) Project

The Coordinated Rural Opportunities Plan— or ”CROP”— project will create a regional strategy for supporting agricultural lands rooted in the local planning and expertise existing in rural and agricultural communities throughout the region.

To create this regional strategy, this project will focus on three areas:  

(1) inventory all of SACOG’s previous RUCS research related to agriculture along with all of the agricultural plans, strategies, and programs throughout the six-county region and distill that information to understand the challenges facing agriculture today and the current strategies to address them,  

(2) identify general themes and geographies where existing strategies are not working as planned or where no strategies have been identified,  

(3) create a framework for implementation that identifies and coordinates the unique infrastructure investments that are needed to support the continued viability of agriculture in our region.  


RUCS Booklet

This booklet provides an overview of the primary topic areas at the center of the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy, highlighting key principles and findings of recent RUCS work.

For more information about RUCS, please contact Renee DeVere-Oki, Rural-Urban Connections Strategy Program Manager at


Agriculture & Habitat -
Working Landscapes Pilot Study

In a growing body of work, researchers and trade organizations have studied the relationship between wildlife habitat and a range of land cover types, including the potential for various types of agricultural lands to double as habitat for different wildlife species. However, there is little understanding of the economic impact of these potential land use changes on a system-wide scale.


Delta Case Study

In SACOG’s Local Food System Assessment for Yolo and Sacramento County Delta Communities, also referred to as the “Delta Case Study”, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and The Hatamiya Group have partnered with the Delta Protection Commission in deploying SACOG’s Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) modeling and analysis tools to help answer questions about how to stimulate agricultural-based economic development in the Delta’s rural communities in a manner that aligns with a shared vision of the Delta: “the ideal synthesis of cultural, ecological, and


Food System Multipliers

The Food System Multipliers project is work conducted through the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy in partnership with ERA Economics and BAE Urban Economics. The project provides updated data, modeling and tools to better demonstrate the important role agriculture and food plays in the Sacramento regional economy. By linking crop production on the farm to a larger food system—aggregation, processing, and distribution—the project develops a series of economic multipliers showing the ripple effect of agricultural industries on the greater regional economy.


Sacramento Capital Region

Food and Agriculture Cluster and Workforce Needs Assessment: Sacramento Capital Region

The region’s Next Economy project provides a playbook for carrying out joint economic development activities to help shift the economic trajectory of the Sacramento region. Next Economy identified six promising business clusters in the Sacramento region poised for continued job creation and growth opportunity, including the Food and Agriculture cluster.


Yolo Case Study

The Yolo Case Study project explores rural economic development opportunities within the “West of 505” portion of the county, with analyses examining context-sensitive development strategies for the areas around Winters, Esparto, and Woodland in western Yolo County. SACOG prepared the Yolo Case Study upon request of local elected officials and staff in Yolo County, with the objective of assisting western Yolo County and its communities in devising economic development strategies that leverage their existing assets of land uses, infrastructure, agriculture lands, and natural resources.


Sacramento Region Food Hub

RUCS stakeholders have identified the need for expanded regional agricultural infrastructure to increase the amount of locally grown food reaching local markets. Agricultural infrastructure encompasses aspects of aggregation, packing, processing, storage, marketing and distribution capacity and facilities, forming what many are calling “food hubs.” Food hubs help connect locally produced and source-identified foods to local markets by creating new market channels between growers and consumers.


Yuba Case Study

SACOG’s Yuba County Case Study responded to requests from Yuba County Supervisors to employ tools developed as part of the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy on the existing agriculture industry. In working with the supervisors, farmers, county staff and other stakeholders, SACOG analyzed a range of agriculture scenarios to examine existing and potential future agriculture value in the county associated with production and food processing.